Ottoman Beds Work Well in Small Spaces

Ottoman beds are the best thing to happen to furniture since the Murphy Bed! While much smaller than a Murphy, they’re still much more functional. As a matter of fact, the ottoman bed is probably the most multipurpose furnishing to hit the home décor industry.

Like their name infers, ottoman beds are ottomans that transition into beds – in less than a minute! So, not only are these cleverly concealed beds ready, willing, and able to serve at the drop of a hat, they’re also always serving as an ottoman as well! Throw your legs up on it, rest your tray of drinks on it, use it for extra seating too but, when it’s time for overnight guests, pop it open and you’re all set! Ottoman beds are terrific pieces for small spaces. When square footage is in short supply such as in urban high-rise apartments, college dorms, one-room starter apartments, and kid’s rooms, the ottoman bed is the perfect solution for overnight visitors.

Its dimensions vary by style and designer, but when closed the ottoman bed is usually no bigger than the average coffee table (as a matter of fact, most homeowners use it instead of a traditional coffee table.) When open, they’re no larger than a twin bed and the best thing is there are no extra couch pillows to hide away or throw on the floor in order to open it. Ottoman beds are all-inclusive and there are no extra pieces except that some models feature an ottoman slipcover. In the case of a slipcover, it’s no bigger than a sheet and can easily be put away in a closet for the night. Ottoman beds are available in many different styles to fit any existing décor from traditional to contemporary and come in various fabrics from micro-fiber to leather.

Some ottoman beds are opened with the same type of mechanism that a sofa bed utilizes and others are folded out without the use of any metal mechanisms. This type of ottoman bed is safest for use in children’s rooms because there’s no chance of fingers getting caught so keep that in mind when purchasing one for your son or daughter.

Shopping for ottoman beds is easiest when done online because not all furniture stores carry them. They’re quite a specialty product and the Internet has the most vast selection available. Also, many Internet ottoman bed retailers offer free or very low-cost shipping which makes shopping online better than ever!

Radiant Heat

Many people think that having a solid wood floor means having thick 1 inch thick boards of solid wood. While that is sometimes true, it is also possible to purchase engineered wood floors. These floors provide the same look; for example, a piece of solid walnut flooring could look exactly the same, but cost less. However, costing less isn’t the only advantage to using engineered wood floors.

Engineered wood floorboards consist of layers of soft plywoods that then are topped with any number of hardwoods such as maple, cherry, walnut, oak, or hickory. The top layer is thin but can vary in thinness. Since the top of any floor is subject to wear, all floors are periodically sanded and refinished to bring new life to them. Critics of engineered wood argue that these floors can only be sanded 2 or 3 times providing a limited life span of 4 or 5 decades for high traffic areas. If 4 or 5 decades is not good enough for you, then consider buying boards with a thicker top layer which will still come at a far lower price than solid wood.  If the area is not high traffic, choose a thin top layer and be thankful for the savings!

Another advantage to engineered wood is its strength. Many people assume that one piece of solid wood is stronger, but when thin layers are all adhered together they gain strength because the ply layers are applied crossways to the top one.

These floors are also very resilient. With high resistance to humidity, these floors can be applied over virtually any floor from the living room to the basement. Modern adhesive and manufacturing technologies ensure that these floors will outperform their solid wood cousins in any climate.

What can be most surprising is the ease of installation. These boards are manufactured with a tongue and groove design that makes the floor fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. While first-time installers will have problems, contractors will love the process once they have done it a few times.

And last but not least, engineered wood is good for the environment. Using only a thin layer, the resources of these valuable hardwood trees can be stretched further. For more information about floors in general, please visit

Three Good Reasons To Install A Fireplace Screen

In the old days, open fireplaces were exactly that: open. Built from bricks into a wall of the home, they offered direct access to the fire at all times. Back then, this was an unavoidable necessity, as people used the fire for many different purposes, not the least of them cooking. Even then, however, the safety issues were all too clear: devastating house fires often started in or near the hearth.

Today, safety is paramount. The simplest and most effective fireplace accessories for increasing safety are fireplace screens. Made out of glass or a dense mesh of fire-resistant material like metal, they stand as a shield between the fire and the outside room. Three common examples should illustrate their usefulness for improving safety.

Reason one: protecting the outside from burning logs from accidentally rolling out of the fireplace. While this, fortunately, happens only rarely, it has always severe consequences. It is therefore very important that the fireplace screen is either firmly attached to the fireplace opening or, alternatively, made out of heavy iron and placed solidly on the floor. Screens that leave an opening between their lower end and the floor do not offer sufficient protection.

Reason two: keeping flying sparks and embers inside the fireplace. Especially when logs have burned down for a while, they will disintegrate and fall to the bottom if stacked upon each other, causing sparks to fly up – possibly into the room where they might start a fire. Solid fireplace screens made out of glass and covering the fireplace opening completely offer the best protection.

Reason three: ensuring the safety of children and pets near the fire. Children like playing near an open fire and are attracted by the flames and heat radiating from a fireplace. While it is still of critical importance that children are never left unsupervised near a burning fire, installing a physical barrier between them and the flames is an invaluable safety feature. The same argument is valid concerning pets. While animals naturally shy away from open flames, the familiarity with a fireplace in operation that pets reach may cause them to overcome their instinct and get dangerously close to the fire.

Hopefully, these arguments can convince many fireplace owners to consider installing a protective screen. They are among the most important fireplace accessories and investments in the safety of their home.

Stupell Industries 3 Panel Decorative Fireplace Screen, Tapestry and Floral, 31 by 44 by .375 Inches

Fireplace screens are the focal point of any room and the beautiful colors will enhance the look of the area . Both functional and decorative, these unique decorative screens will keep your fireplace out of sight when not in use. This piece is handcrafted from original artwork by English muralist Julie Perren. Lithograph is laminated to sturdy 3/8-inch mdf and folds up when not in use . Item is already assembled in box and ready to be put in front of the fireplace . Made in USA.  31-inch H by 44-inch W by 3/8-inch L

Rustic Fireplace Screen

Magnificent metalwork fire screen features cutout silhouettes of deer and mountains; absolutely magical when backlit by firelight!Weathered bronze finish gives this the instant appeal of a well-loved antique. Three-part folding design with mesh screen. Wrought iron. 54 inches x 1/2 inches x 32 1/2 inches high

Panacea Products Corp 3Panel Scrolltop Screen Fireplace Enclosures & Screens

3 Panel, Brushed Bronze, Scroll Top & Bottom Fireplace Screen, Powder Coated Steel Construction, Elegant Understated Scroll Design Looks Great In Both Traditional & Contemporary Decor, Barrel Hinges Secure Side Panels To The Front, 30′ H x 50′ W.

Rustic Star Fireplace Screen

Add a touch of Texas style to your hearth with this handsome folk art screen! Striking gate design features a host of metal cutouts and rustic weathered finish; gives any room a cozy prairie campfire feel. Metal. Front panel 26 inches x 3 inches x 35 inches high. When open screen is 51 inches W.

Metal Fireplace Screen

As romantic and cozy as a fireplace can be, safety should always be first and foremost in the home. A metal fireplace screen will give you peace of mind when leaving a room temporarily, that an errant breeze down the chimney won’t deposit sparks or cinders on your floor and carpets. Handsome black metal styling with a cast iron medallion in the center. 44 ½ x 1 x 30 ¾ inches high.

What Are The Shapes And Textures Of A Decorative Pillow?

The modern world has provided a wonderful supply of shapes and textures for a decorative pillow. The shopper has forever broken free from the confines of the normal shapes of these pillows. No longer is the shopper bound by a choice between round, square or rectangular.  Now the shapes and textures are as varied as the imagination of manufacturers and different handcraft artists who create one-of-a-kind creations.

Tommy Bahama Island Botanical 16-Inch Decorative Pillow

Tommy Island Botanical will bring the tropics into your bedroom. This island-inspired design features palm trees in a soft green with a reversible comforter. The comforter and shams are made of luxurious 100-Percent cotton sateen. The 100-Percent cotton sheets sets include fitted sheets, flat sheet,s and 2 pillowcases. Complete the ensemble with our decorative pillows. Enjoy the Tommy Bahama style “life is one long weekend”.

Seven Comforts Premium Decorative Throw Pillow – 20 x 20 x 6, Polyester Jacquard – Chocolate Brown

This pillow has a chocolate brown polyester jacquard cover with a geometric pattern. It measures 20 x 20 x 6 inches in size. It has a hidden zipper on one side. The cover can be removed for cleaning; Professional dry clean only. Seven Comforts decorative throw pillows are made with the finest materials and craftsmanship to deliver a luxurious combination of style and comfort. A wide variety of premium fabrics are available in a hand-picked collection of colors, patterns, and textures, all carefully selected by our designers in accordance with popular interior design trends. With hundreds of designs to choose from, Seven Comforts throw pillows will provide the perfect finishing touch to any décor theme or occasion. Every Seven Comforts throw pillow includes our exclusive pillow insert – the culmination of our 20+ years of pillow design and manufacturing experience. With a unique fill material of 25% all-natural latex foam and 75% white goose feather, the Seven Comforts pillow insert is plush to the touch, yet provides a satisfying level of firmness that does not degrade with use.

It will not become flat and mushy like an all-feather pillow, nor will it sag or turn lumpy over time like a synthetic fiber pillow. The Seven Comforts pillow insert delivers a truly unique and delectable mixture of comfort and support that is not available anywhere else.NOTE: Seven Comforts decorative throw pillows are stored and shipped in plastic packaging. Being sealed in plastic packaging sometimes traps odors. A few hours of airing usually removes the odor.

One popular shape available in an accent pillow is the seashell.  This reminds the owner of fun times playing in the waves at the edges of a warm sandy beach and childhood summers that seemed endless. Today’s shapes include familiar objects, fruits, vegetables and animals in different sizes. Conventional shapes and sizes are still available in throw pillows allowing different shapes to be mixed and matched creating unique and eye pleasing results.

The textures are just as varied and can be a thick, warm and cozy fur or a slick and smooth silk or satin. Modern accent pillows come in various textures sewn together to create an interesting look and feel. Buttons, beads, fringes and trims are often added for effect; rich and bold patterns create eye-catching designs and bring life into the room or a quiet corner of the room. These wonderful pillows are used to support a back or head or cradle an elbow or arm, much like an orthopedic pillow. Often during a horror movie these are pressed to the chest for added protection and a place to hide the face during stressful scenes.  A throw pillow can be place on lap as a book support while reading or tucked alongside for a cat or small dog to recline on while smuggling with the lucky pet parent.

A decorative pillow today comes in a wonderful array of colors, shapes, sizes and textures. There is one or ten that will delight the heart of anyone thinking of a new look for the room.

Retro Kitchen Trends

The Retro Comeback

Retro styles have been making a steady comeback mainly in fashion and decor.  The pantry, complete with traditional cream enamel tins, can now be added to the list of items taking homes back to the future.

Surprisingly, despite kitchens being bigger than ever in modern homes, a pantry is one of the most requested features in American houses.  A pantry has a certain quaintness but is more than just a nostalgic nod to the past. Despite the charm, the pantry still has practical use in modern-day life.

History Of The Pantry

Pantries were usually small rooms adjoining kitchens used to store food and kitchenware accessories. The word is derived from the Old French term Panettiere, which in turn comes from pain, the French version of panis, the Latin word for bread. And no pantry was complete without the big bread bin, often in cream enamel.

Bread bins were used to keep the loaves fresh. Every home would have had one before the commercial manufacture of bread which contained food preservatives and was wrapped in plastic. People who still bake bread at home like mum or grandma used to still buy them for that purpose.

Use Of Enamel In The Kitchen

The bins, often in cream enamel, were used to keep the bread at room temperature which increased the length of time it was edible.  The lids on the bins were not airtight. They were left loose enough to let the airflow and this, in turn, cut down the amount of condensation. Too much condensation meant that mold formed more easily.

But the lids had to be tight enough to keep out things like foraging mice looking for a few titbits.  Enamel has been used for centuries. The Romans used it decoratively on glasswork and it became widely used by the Chinese.

Vitreous/porcelain enamel gradually had its commercial uses after being mainly used on jewelry and intricate art decoration. In the middle of the 19th Century steel and sheet iron wire coated with enamel and as the raw materials’ purity improved production increased and costs were subsequently reduced.

Gradually objects used in everyday life crept into the equation and domestic receptacles – things like bread bins, biscuit tins, utensil jars, and cooking vessels, often in cream enamel – became commonplace in kitchens and pantries.

Vitreous enamel is a more than useful substance when it comes to fending off wear and tear. It is a smooth material with excellent durability. It does not scratch and is chemically resistant, its color does not fade in direct light or burn, and, bearing in mind it is widely used in kitchens, it is easy to clean – A housewife’s (or househusband’s) dream.

The Contemporary Home offers a great range of enamel tins and cream enamel kitchenware which look great in retro-styled and modern kitchens