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Giving A Glass Shelf A Customized Appearance

Glass shelving can be much more than just a plain piece of glass. To add to the elegance of a glass shelf, you can add a variety of options not just to the material itself, but also to the surrounding area. Give it color, a little extra sparkle, or make it the center of attention in a room. There is a variety of options when it comes to adding glass to your home or workplace.

Reflective Mirrors

Mount mirrors behind a glass shelf to emphasize the effects of the material on the space. The mirror reflects the light and its surroundings to make the room look bigger and makes the shelf more dominant in the space. This works particularly well in an inset shelf because it makes the shelf appear deeper than it actually is. Adding a bold frame around the inset storage area is one of the newer trends in decorating. This makes the shelf appear almost like a picture.


Lights work well with the translucent qualities of glass shelves. This doesn't just have to be white light either. Colored bulbs add a glow to the glass shelf, completely transforming the look of the space. To add this touch to a shelf, install pot lights above or below the glass. You can also direct track lighting to highlight your functional art as well.

Turn Glass Into Art

Pictures added to a lower shelf bring interest to the material itself. If you set the images between to sheets of glass the same size, it looks great and you can change them at any time. Etching adds an elegant touch to glass shelves. Have a border etched around the outside of the glass to highlight the items on top of it. A glass shelf with a picture etched onto it can really add a delicate touch to a space and soften the look of the material.

Mixing Materials

Because glass has the unique quality of enhancing the material around it, use this to your advantage to decorate your space. Add wood or marble framing to the glass for a rich appearance. Shape metal in a variety of different ways and have numerous finishes to keep with the modern style of an office or home.

Glass Options

Glass shelves don't have to be a standard rectangular cut. Today, glass shelves can be cut at almost any angle or shape to create the perfect look to complement the decor of a space. Instead of a rectangle shelf on the wall, consider an oval-like shape with a straight edge to place against the wall. The edges of the glass can have a wide bevel to add sharp, geometrical lines to suit modern, futuristic, or formal spaces.

Colored Glass

Colored glass opens the doors of decor accents wide open. Lightly tinted glass is ideal for a subtle touch of color in a room. It also matches monotone color schemes perfectly. Darker colors are also popular to give you the dramatic effects of stained glass. Add lights to bring the colors of the glass out into the room.

Homes and businesses can greatly benefit from the effects of glass shelves. The glass has the ability to fit in with virtually any material or decor style. Its translucent qualities can further enhance the colors and textures of its surroundings. With all of the different options and additions that can be added to a glass shelf, it can fit perfectly into any space.


Cuckoo Clocks Striking the Hour

Back in the fourteenth century mechanical clocks appeared. A bell sounded every hour. These clocks did not have hands or faces. The speed of the clocks movement was driven by weights and springs. The most important event in clock making took place in the early nineteenth century. It was the introduction of mass production and interchangeable parts. Before this time clocks were only available to the wealthy.

The cuckoo clock is typically pendulum driven and strikes the hours using small bellows and pipes that imitate the call of the common cuckoo in addition to striking a wire gong. This mechanism was produced since the eighteenth century and has remained almost without variation until the present.

In the nineteen fifties electrical currents ran through quartz crystals which caused vibrations to operate the movements. This type of movement is used in many of our wall clocks today.

The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in southwestern Germany. Wood carving is a traditional industry in this region. There is a legend that is told over and over again that the cuckoo clock was invented by a Black Forest mechanic This has been found to be untrue. As early as sixteen fifty the bird with the distinctive call was written in reference books. It took nearly a century for the cuckoo clock to find its way to the Black Forest. The people did develop the cuckoo clock industry and are still coming up with new designs and technical improvements. This has made the cuckoo clock a valued work of art all over the world.

Most familiar to many is the design that is conventionally carved from wood and made to hang from the wall. These are usually decorated with leaves and animals and have an automated bird that appears through a small trap door while the clock is striking the hour. Some other familiar features of cuckoo clocks are some can be musical, some have sounds of chimes, they can be pendulum or quartz driven and feature a novelty and have elaborate carvings.

No matter what kind of life style, purchasing a wall mounted cuckoo clock is a very special moment in ones life. These clocks seem to fill your home with love and laughter. They bring a gift of charm and sophistication with their melodies and motion.

The movement is the heart of your clock. Some cuckoo clocks need to be key wound daily or weekly. There are also quartz clocks that are battery operated. Some batteries last years without needing to be replaced. You do get a different feeling from a quartz clock than mechanically driven clocks. The animated cuckoo is usually made out of plastic and gives off a recorded cuckoo sound. All are fitted with manual volume controls and shut off switches. They also have sensors that silence the clock after dark.

Since its popularity, the cuckoo clock has been a common character in children's literature, comics and cartoons. This is due to children that are amazed by the magic of the happy bird that lives in the clock and jumps out to announce the hour. This is one reason why you find wall novelty cuckoo clocks hanging on walls in many children's rooms. In my daughters bed room she has one that features Mickey Mouse.

You literally can find a cuckoo clock that will fit in any room for any taste and will truly become a focal point and conversation piece. The price depends on the quality and what materials were used in the construction of the clock. You can find cuckoo clock prices starting under one hundred dollars and going up to thousands of dollars depending on the artwork and the mechanical features involved.

For warranties and repairs you should check with the company you purchase the clock from. If you purchase one that was made in the Black Forest you will receive a certificate of authenticity. They are held to higher standards and are always mechanically powered. The certificate shows its internationality by being written bilingually in German and in English.

Our rapid advancement in technology keeps scientists and craftsmen working to create a cuckoo clock with one hundred percent accuracy. We have come close and we are destined to continue.


Shopping For a Woodstove: Features to Look For

If you're like millions, and are desperately searching for an alternative heating source to oil for this coming fall/winter, then you've probably considered investing in a wood stove. In my opinion, they're great! They're economical, energy-conscious, aesthetically charming, and most effective. But, if you are in the market for one for either, the first time or the first time in a long time; you'll need to know all the contemporary features that woodstoves now offer. Below, is a quick reference guide on the most important features to look for in a new wood burning stove for your home.

· Material

There are three basic materials that your new woodstove can be made from: welded steel, soapstone, and cast iron. Starting with the most basic, welded steel is the least aesthetic and consequently the cheapest of the three, so if you are looking for purely functional: this is your best bet. Cast iron is probably the most popular and prevalent among homeowners, because it is functional, beautiful, and moderately priced. Soapstone is what is regarded as the Cadillac model of woodstove. It has a very different, yet pleasing look to it; and offers the same top-notch efficiency and functionality as well.

· Catalytic or Non-Catalytic Combustion

Basically, catalytic combustion wood stoves use a technology where the exhaust gasses are developed through a filter of sorts, outside of the main firebox; to produce a long, steady heat output. Non-catalytic, on the other hand, produces its combustion or heat in the firebox and uses something called a baffle to divert gas; and pre-heated air to produce a more powerful, shorter-term (yet efficient) heat output. You'll find in shopping that the higher-end models typically use catalytic technology, but this is not necessarily the best choice; as manufacturers are swiftly switching to production of non-catalytic-most probably due to efficiency and emissions standards.

· Heat Output

If this is your first time shopping for woodstoves, you may have no idea what kind of heat power your house will need. Typically, an average-sized medium home needs 5,000-20,000 BTUs per hour to keep itself warm continuously; but of course this depends whether you have a catalytic or non-catalytic wood stove, and the more specific size of your home. It's always best to ask what the manufacturer or store recommends for your given square footage home.

· Heating Capacity

When it comes to how much home a given wood stove will heat, knowing your home's square footage can be helpful but should not be paramount when deciding what size woodstove you will buy. For example, perhaps you have a large home with a lot of square footage, but it's broken down into lots of small spaces. In this case, buying a large capacity woodstove will not necessarily serve you well. This being said, here is a general rule of thumb when it comes to choosing the size of your woodstove: small stoves will heat a large room or small house, medium wood stoves will heat a medium-sized home, and large woodstoves will best heat a larger home or one that isn't well insulated (an older home typically).


How To Choose And Buy High Quality Shutters For Your Home

If you are in need of window shutters for your home you may be amazed and confused by the dazzling array of diverse styles and materials available in the window shutter market today. There are so many new materials being introduced it may make you wonder what is best for your home but rest assured that high quality wood shutters are still the standard for your home's window shutters. There are a few other things you need to know before you begin shopping as well.

Basically there are two distinct styles of shutters that you really have to choose from. Traditional window shutters have very narrow shutter panels with louvers that are approximately 1-1/4 inches. These window shutters are also normally thicker in the front and more narrow in the rear resulting in a sort of wedge shape. The plantation style shutters are usually a little thicker and have larger louvers.

When it comes to the finish of your shutters you can choose them to be painted, stained or even have both. The majority of window shutter companies carry paint that is available in the same colors as stains so if you prefer paint you can still get a stained look. Stains really enhance the grain and color of wood and come in a diverse variety of tints from very light natural tones that barely stain the wood to darker ones that may be almost black. In any case these stains can only be used on real wood and shutters made of composite wood materials or synthetics cannot be stained.

Due to the variety of shutter materials and sizes the price of shutters will vary greatly and a lot of shutter manufacturers will calculate the price of window shutters on a square foot basis. Most of the time what you will see are prices calculated based upon the number of panels, the window size, finish and shutter style you have chosen.

The actual number of panels shown across the shutter depends upon the style of shutter as well as the width of the window. If you have chosen a traditional style window shutter you will use more panels across the window since these are more narrow than the plantation style shutters.

Individual companies vary in their suggestions for the amount of panels used on each window. For taller windows you may want to go with a two tiered window shutter unit that features two sets of shutters per window with one for the upper portion and one for the lower. This type of shutter unit is also referred to as double tier. What is great about this style of shutters is that each set can be opened separately so you can leave one section closed if you wish.


Tips For Decorating Walls and Making Attractive Wall Groupings

Creating a cohesive wall grouping can be easy to accomplish. All it takes is some planning and a few supplies. The easiest way to design a wall grouping is to lay your pictures out on the floor and arrange and rearrange them until you are happy with how they look. If you cut a piece of paper, Kraft paper or butcher paper, the size of your wall display area and place it on the floor, you can move your pictures around until you find the cohesive wall grouping you desire. Include a strong horizontal line, and maybe a strong vertical line also, in your layout.

Once you are happy that your layout is visually and physically balanced, place a mark on the paper where the nails would need to be to evenly hang your pictures. Now remove the pictures and tack the paper to the wall using masking tape or painter's tape. You can now hammer nails into your marks through the paper, knowing you have the perfect placement for a cohesive wall grouping. Remove the paper and hang your picture frames. Remember for a grouping hung above a sofa or chair that you want the lowest picture frame hung close enough to maintain a visual link between the sofa and picture frame but high enough that no one would hit their head against it while seated.

Tips for Your Wall Groupings

For a cohesive artwork grouping when there are various sizes of picture frames, you can create an eye-pleasing arrangement by including a common element. Display similar subject pieces together or use similar frames, like all black wood picture frames or you could display all black and white prints.

Geometric shapes, like squares, rectangles, triangles, circles or diamond shapes should be formed when arranging your wall grouping.

Small spaces need simplicity. A grouping of small picture frames holding prints of delicate seashells, flowers or ferns would look great in a small bathroom.

Picture frames have the power to enhance any piece of art. Frame a portrait or simple print in a gold picture frame and you have an elegant display. For rustic pieces of artwork, choose picture frames with a primitive wood look.

Mirrors are popular and are considered wall art. They can be held in a picture frame, but many mirrors have beveled edges that provide all the interest and beauty they need without a frame. A mirror will reflect light into your room and give a more open feeling to a small space. But, remember that a mirror reflects so be sure that what it reflects is something you want to look at.

Space Considerations

You always need to take into consideration the space where your pictures will hang. If you have a large space, you wouldn't want to hang a grouping of small photographs that would get lost, just as you wouldn't want to overwhelm a small wall by hanging a large photo grouping on it. Scale is important to a cohesive wall grouping. Select the artwork to fit the wall space. For example, if you have a long hallway, you can connect one end of the hallway to the other by hanging pictures in line along the wall.

Other Considerations

It is a generally accepted concept that pictures should hang at eye level or just below eye level. People are drawn to what they can easily see, so hanging pictures at eye level will draw their eye and allow them to connect with the art.

Lighting is another consideration when creating a cohesive wall grouping. Will your grouping receive a lot of light or will it need its own illumination? What type of light will it receive? Direct sunlight can damage artwork so, if possible, don't hang your artwork where it will receive direct sunlight. If direct sunlight is hard to avoid, use anti-reflective glass or acrylic when you frame your artwork.


Small Storage Containers With Lids

Small storage containers with lids are excellent for organizing a house or an office. They're versatile and affordable. Storing small miscellaneous home goods in a box with a lid eliminates clutter. Clear plastic containers with lids might be purchased for less than $2.00. Clear plastic boxes with lids are good for a kid's room.

Crayons, small toys, puzzle pieces, and much more may be placed in the bins relatively than getting scattered everywhere in the room. Clear packing containers additionally work nicely in a craft room. A craft room that's well organized is far nicer to work in than one the place the whole lot is scattered and onerous to locate.

Plastic boxes also are available a wide variety of colors. It's useful to label the contents of packing containers that aren't clear. Small storage bins with lids can be utilized in any room of your house. Putting individual storage containers for every particular person to retailer private objects helps eradicate litter on a rest room counter.

Within the kitchen small storage bins are useful for storing recipes, small kitchen utensils, sweet, cookies, and much more. Ornamental boxes, wooden containers, or bamboo containers look attractive and elegant in a bed room or residing room.

Decorative packing containers might be purchased for less than $10 at many shops and online. You should purchase small ornamental containers with lids in a variety of shapes and designs. A room will look less cluttered if the entire little issues that have a tendency to finish up lying round on tables are container in fairly boxes.

Colorful canvas packing containers with lids are a sensible choice for a school dorm room or laundry room. A cluttered desk of office offers an unfavorable first impression. Small storage containers with lids made from fake leather-based materials give an workplace a sophisticated, efficient appearance.


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