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Monday, July 21, 2014

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Be Entranced by the Perfect Entrance to Your Home


entrance with plants

Do you ever put your key in your front door, only to have it fall off at the hinges? Does your doormat have the durability of used toilet paper? Do people regularly throw bits of rubbish at your doorstep because they’ve mistaken it for a skip?

Yeah, you might want to consider sprucing up your entrance. Your doorway is the first impression any visitors will get of your home, so you have to make sure it’s in tiptop condition. So, what can you do? Simply try a few of these tips.

dirt trapper door mat
A matter of mats
You know what it’s like – you wipe your feet on your doormat, only for it to hold about as much dirt as a broken toy dump truck. Although you could pick up a doormat for a quid from bargain shops, investing in dirt-trapper mats will scrape muck from your soles with gusto.

To complement your mat, add in a sizeable shoe rack by your door to stop any errant muck trailing around your home.

A door to adore
If your door is choc-a-bloc with dents, scratches and paint that’s more faded than the career of Les Dennis, then a new one would be a great purchase. In what scientists are referring to as a “Goldilocks’s Door”, you should be searching for something firm enough for security but aesthetically pleasing enough to welcome you into your home. It’s also important to match your door with the rest of your house. After all, it’d be a bit weird if your door was an intricate Art Deco affair while the rest of the place was a 19th century townhouse. Make it match and you’ll have a door to adore.

Flora to fawn over
Have you ever dreamed of owning an entrance resembling a pastoral work of art? You know the type – a gentle trellised archway covered in vines standing before a cobbled path up to a doorway drenched in the pungent scent of roses.

It might seem like a pipe dream, but you can create a pleasant atmosphere with the use of a few plants. Some roses, a small plant pot, a handful of hydrangeas – the possibilities for plant life are almost endless, with an array of colours and smells to feast your eyes and nose upon. And once you’ve got these scents sorted, you’ll have an entrance that you won’t want to leave.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

vintage truck parts become iconic sculptural benches


chevy tailgate bench

A great green concept – take some junkyard salvage and transform it into industrial art – in this case functional benches that can also serve as rustic sculptures. These benches have been created from the remains of vintage Ford and Chevy trucks, reclaimed wood, some heavy duty old chain and other discarded industrial waste.

ford vintage tailgate bench

Rusty Gold, of Tyler, Texas-based, Recycled Salvage, has made recycling an art form by creating a variety of welded items from recycled and reclaimed materials. We particularly like his line of benches that feature old pickup truck tailgates and grills.

chevy apache grill bench

Rusty taught himself to weld just a few months ago and now he’s pursuing his dream as a designer and scrap art specialist. These handmade, hand-welded benches range in price for around $1,000 to $1,500 @ recycledsalvage

related: more green design finds on The Alternative Consumer

 

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How to Brighten Up Your House for the Summer Sun


shutters and garden

Summer is here and enjoying the sun should be your number one priority. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy – especially when you have kids, work and general chores to contend with.

For those who find much of their day needs to be spent indoors, letting the light in and brightening up your house can allow you to enjoy the beautiful summer days. Here are a few tips on how to do it.

Flowers
Not everyone can afford to entirely redesign their house in the summer, but an easy way of embracing the light and keeping your home airy and free is through flowers. A small bouquet in a tasteful vase can elevate a room from dark winter warmth to fresh summer light.

Clean
Throughout the winter months, it’s easy to hoard items we don’t really need. Avoiding stepping into the brutal cold air means your house can become a collection of old and dated cupboard fillers that you really could do without. Invite the summer in with a clean out of your cupboards, wardrobes and drawers and create an open free space to enjoy the summer. You’ll also be able to make room for a new summer wardrobe – and some tasty summer treats!

 Accessories
Blankets, rugs and thick curtains and the order of cold, brisk winters but a good dose of homey accessorising can help bring summer into your home and lighten the whole room.
Opt for light linen curtains and light coloured bedding will help your house look summery and reflect light.

special shapes shutters

Shutters
Another great year-round solution to lightening your house is shutters. Purely Shutters offer a wide range of designs and colours that can help you create a versatile look that brings in the light during summer and keeps the cold out during winter. What more could you want?

Light, light, light
If your home struggles to receive sufficient natural light to brighten it up then why not fill the void with artificial light? Place lamps or spotlights in strategic places and use bright but energy-efficient bulbs to achieve the best impact.

If you have a chance to redecorate a little this summer, stick to light colours for your walls and furniture, bringing colour in through accessories. Whites and light greys help keep a room free and airy whilst blue and green accessories maintain character in the room.

So, there you have it. Enjoy the good weather with a bright and light room that can bring that summer smile inside … even when you can’t get outside!

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

5 reclaimed pallet wood coffee tables


grey pallet wood coffee table

Great furniture can be created from unlikely raw materials – in this case the recycled remains of wooden shipping pallets. Why not utilize the character and hidden charm of this wood to create something new and compelling, like a super-rustic coffee table (pictured above).  This table is the creation of woodworking craftsman, Matt Rivera. The stylishly stout table is constructed of reclaimed pallet wood and 4 X 4′s. Perfect for a beachy patio, deck or sun room – $250.

reclaimed wood coffee table

If your interior design taste trends more “Martha Stewart” white, shabby chic, or farmhouse rustic this table (above) – handmade by Yonder Years – may suit your style. All materials used in this table’s construction are recycled or reclaimed and all edges have been rounded and sanded for a touch-friendly, rustic finish. Each piece of pallet wood is hand-selected for its knots, character and color. $345

indoor outdoor pallet wood coffee table

(above) This table’s great weathered, distressed finish was created from an expertly applied combo of paint, stain, white wash and woodworking expertise. The coffee table, which can be finished for indoor or outdoor use, looks likes it’s spent many years on a secluded Maine beach. Made in Canada by Silviculture Designs $192.53

union jack pallet wood table

Jack Fouracre is the son of a great woodcutter and craftsman and spent his formative years surrounded by all manner of wood and carpentry projects. He now makes his own furniture creations, primarily from reclaimed and upcycled wood. His “Union Jack” coffee table (above) – created from reclaimed pallet wood – features an inlaid Union Jack design (more…)

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Monday, July 7, 2014

upcycled home decor – wine barrel lights


wine barrel ring and stave chandelier

These handmade lighting fixtures are created from the upcycled components of old wine barrels, aged and stained by years of storing some of California’s finest vino.
wine barrel ring light
Artist Michael Weiss and his band of California artisans create hundreds of products, pieces of furniture and home decor items from reclaimed grapevines, vintage wine barrels and other recycled and natural materials. Basic materials used in the making of these lighting fixtures: wine barrels, wine barrel rings, chain, wine barrel rings, wine barrel staves and a heavy dose of fine craftsmanship.

wine barrel stave light

You can find these lights (beginning at $80) and dozens of other handcrafted artisan items at the Wine Country Craftsman shop.

related: more eclectic home decor items featured on The Alternative Consumer

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