Archive for Decorating Tips

written by Rebecca Rambal

Poppy in a garden
Photo by Leonard John Matthews

When you think of Feng Shui, you mainly associate it with the home or the office, rearranging the furniture and surrounding yourself with objects that attract good luck. However it is not only indoors that can be designed using Feng Shui. You can also use it to create the perfect garden environment.

If a garden is part of your property, Feng Shui should be incorporated into it. That will really help to bring you the best results. We all like our gardens to look impressive and beautiful. It allows us to appreciate our environment a lot more and it helps to release positive energy that helps us flourish. Feng Shui gives us the tools needed to create the most positive outside environment and the best part is that you don’t need a huge garden to use Feng Shui arrangements.

Incorporating Feng Shui into the Garden

~ Orange Tree ~
Photo by ViaMoi

One of the main factors that you have to take into account when it comes to Feng Shui is that clutter is always a bad thing. This also applies to the garden. If you have a lot of clutter outside of your doorway you won’t attract good energy. Make sure that the entrance to your home looks welcoming and tidy. Also make sure you clean up once Winter is gone. The cold weather and the snow will cause leaves to stick to your lawn and in your flower beds. Once you have tidied everything away, you can truly start to incorporate Feng Shui into the garden.

If you want to plant trees in your garden, aim to plant them at the sides and around the back of your garden. Don’t plant them too close to your home as, although they are fantastic producers of positive energy, they can overshadow the home and look a little too imposing if placed too close. There should always be plenty of natural light shining into your home, so don’t place anything in the garden that will block out the light. Read More→

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By Scott M. Free and Nickolie Allen Greer
A Summer Garden Scene from Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire
Photo by UGArdener

Creating a walkway or path for your garden, flowerbed or lawn is a superb way of adding a glorious touch to the outdoor environment. There are innumerable options from where you can make a choice. Quite a few options have been mentioned below; let’s take a look at them:

• Basic Brick Pathway: The first thing that comes into our mind before creating walkways or paths is bricks. Using bricks you can give any desired shape to your path. In simple words, using bricks you can create several paths such as winding, meandering as well as narrow.

What’s more interesting is that bricks are available in various patterns and designs. You may even choose whether you desire to set the path in concrete or sand. Almost all people prefer opting for a concrete base!

Read More→

Originally posted 2010-03-03 14:51:33. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Choosing a Bonsai Plant

Posted by: CoolGardenThings | Comments (0)

Choosing a Bonsai Plant by Robert Thomson

When you go to choose your Bonsai Plant, you will find that there are a great many varieties to choose from. In reality, any plant that has a trunk and branches can become a Bonsai Plant.
A lot of people choose the tropical Bonsai Plant because they are beautiful and can be grown indoors all year around. Tropical Bonsai Plants include such plants as the as azalea, fig, bougainvillea, fuchsia.

Though tropical Bonsai Plants are popular, there are also other types that very closely resemble the full grown outside variety. These Bonsai Plants include such trees and shrubs as the elm, birch, apple, ginkgo, and spirea. These types of plants lose their leaves in the winter when the days grow shorter. They require cooler temperatures, but above freezing in the winter. In addition, they don’t need light when they don’t have any leaves.

When choosing a Bonsai Plant it is important to consider where it is you will be growing your plant before deciding on which type to get. The tropical Bonsai Plant can be grown in the window as long as you keep close tabs that the temperature is not getting too cold. These types of Bonsai Plants require a lot of light. If it does get too cold by the window, you may use a fluorescent light to help substitute for natural sunlight.

The Evergreen Bonsai Plant can be placed in a window during the winter and outdoors once the temperature is staying above freezing. These plants cannot be placed directly in the sun, but must be put in a shady place so that they do not die from too much heat.
Pruning your Bonsai Plant is important, as this is how you create the illusion of a mature, full-grown tree. If you are not adept at pruning and have never cared for your own Bonsai Plant, you may want to begin with the tropical Azalea Bonsai Plant. They are very adaptable to trimming and this will be helpful for you when you are first starting out with a Bonsai.

There are many different styles of Bonsai Plants, including the upright tree, the windswept Bonsai Plant, as well as the cascade and forest styles of Bonsai Plants. Before deciding on which style you would like to try and grow, it is a good idea to discover as much as you can about each type and how to care for them.

Thomas T is the owner of
Here you can read more about Bonsai Plant: Bonsai Plant, and Indoor Bonsai Tree.

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Originally posted 2009-01-15 12:47:43. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Categories : Decorating Tips
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Caring For Orchids

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by Jan Hartman

Photo by Thai Jasmine

Orchids are beautiful, exotic plants that are temperamental, but can be successfully grown indoors as a decorative houseplant Orchids are not that complicated and if you understand caring for orchids and their needs you can grow these exotic and beautiful plants

Orchids are beautiful, exotic plants that are temperamental, but can be successfully grown indoors as a decorative houseplant. Orchids are not that complicated and if you understand caring for orchids and their needs you can grow these exotic and beautiful plants. Read More→

Originally posted 2010-01-26 14:46:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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How to Grow Avocado

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avocado shells and seeds
Photo by bionicteaching
by: Hans Dekker
Fruit gardening and vegetable gardening is a very exciting venture. Growing Avocado’s was one of the challenges I took on as a hobby fruit and vegetable gardener. When you are not an inhabitant of state with a tropical climate you can grow avocado’s in containers.

avocado seed
Photo by silencematters

So, if you’re a fan of the avocado, chances are you already know how to grow avocado plants. Although the avocado tree is a tropical plant that thrives only in zones 9, 10, and 11, many gardeners grow avocado plants indoors, they grow it as a houseplant. Avocado plants are typically started from the seed in the center of the fruit. Many gardeners begin their avocado plants by piercing the seed with toothpicks and then suspending it (pointed end up) over a glass, vase, or jar of water. You can keep the water sweet by adding some charcoal in the bottom of your container. In two to six weeks, if the seed germinates, you should have a young plant, ready to pot. However, not all avocado seeds will germinate in this way. If your seed hasn’t sprouted in six weeks, toss it out and try again. Read More→

Originally posted 2010-01-08 11:09:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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We are having a contest that is for “Best FirePot Decorating Idea”!

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

This video will go through some basic contest information as well as show how simple and easy you can do some great decorating with the Gel Fuel Ceramic Bird Brain FirePots. The particular FirePot that we are using in this demonstration is the Pele Marine Ceramic FirePot.

You do not have to use this same FirePot in your contest entry, however, this is the firepot that you could win. We will also have 4 runners-up, so a total of 5 winners for the contest! Read More→

Originally posted 2009-12-13 22:04:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Climate: A Design Imperative

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Climate: A Design Imperative by Karen Vosjan

Climatic variations across regions alter architectural demands for shelter, warmth, cooling and the relationship of indoor and outdoor living spaces. In designing any structure it is imperative that its context be embraced and that both current climatic conditions and those which may be experienced during the life span of the structure are factored into the design. A structure which ignores its climatic context risks undermining functionality and sustainability.

Michael Sandberg of Sandberg Schoffel Architects comments that environmental considerations and sustainability issues are “tremendously important” for both local and international architects and landscape designers. Mr Sandberg adds that, in architectural design, “climate has always been a major factor” however it is only now, given the recent drought and associated climate extremes experienced in Australia, that it is becoming a much more public discussion. Read More→

Originally posted 2009-04-04 23:08:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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How to Effectively Brief Design Professionals by Karen Vosjan

Balancing the need to communicate aesthetic preferences and functional requirements with the benefits to be derived from the unconstrained output of Architects and designers.
We all know that the contribution of architects and designers to a finished house, garden or building extends beyond the aesthetics of the structure or outdoor environment. Good design can positively influence the way we live and work. A critical stage in the design process which directly influences the project’s outcome and how effective a designer can be is the formulation of the brief.

A thorough and articulate design brief is a vital part of the design process. It anchors a project and serves as an essential point of reference for all parties throughout the design and implementation process. It is the tool which best delivers the project as contemplated, on time and on budget.

A design brief should acknowledge and address the relationship of the three categories of architecture, interior and landscape. Ideally, your project will involve all three but even if it is limited to just one, your architect or designer will benefit from your holistic vision. For example, do you want to maximize the outlook from the interior of the home to the garden? Will you have a swimming pool? Do you have a vast collection of artwork which you wish to display? Will you have a pivotal piece of furniture to showcase? Do you want the colour palate inside the home to extend outside?

A design brief should cater for both short and long term requirements. To what use will the internal spaces be put in the short term and will that change in the future? Will furnishings need to be child friendly in the future? Will there be any additions to the building in the long term which will influence the layout of the garden in the short term?

Many people are daunted by the prospect of compiling a brief because of a misconception that they need to address matters about which they know very little – they don’t. All you need to do is address the personal elements of the project which deal with form and function, identify your project expectations and arrive at a budget.


Form addresses your style and the things which you like, for example –

* Do you like contemporary architecture and design or a more traditional style best represented by a particular period?
* Do you like minimalist interiors or is there another style which best describes your personal taste?
* Do you like colourful interiors or do you prefer more muted palates?
* What surfaces do you like – timber, stone, glass, steel?
* What fabrics do you like – textured, patterned, plain?
* What finish do like in furniture – leather, wool, suede?
* What types of window furnishing do you like – curtains, blinds, shutters?
* Do you like gardens with areas of paving or do you prefer areas that are grassed or pebbled?
* What types of plants do you like – trees, shrubs, grasses, succulents, flowers?

It is important to remember that you do not need, and should avoid, making actual design decisions and selections. Leave that to your architect or designer because they have the knowledge and access to products which are simply not available to you. By all means show your architect or designer a photo, a tile or a swatch of fabric but only as an example of what you like. Then let them design the spaces and suggest selections in keeping with your style.


Function addresses the use to which the spaces will be put, for example –

• How many living spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?

• Do you need a guest room with an ensuite?

• Do you need a study?

• Will any rooms be multifunctional, used most of the time for one use, say a home office, but occasionally used for another, say the guest room?

• Will the use of a room change over time, say the home office becoming the baby’s room?

• Do you entertain extensively?

• Whether an external office or a home office, for which tasks which need the office cater?

• What technical requirements do you have for computers, phones, faxes, presentations and entertainment?

• Do you require large storage spaces?

Again, it is important to remember that you do not need, and should avoid, making actual design decisions. Let your architect or designer create an outcome which addresses your functional requirements.

Project Expectations

This is an expression of what matters most to you, for example –

* While all projects should be sustainable and all architects and Designers should incorporate sustainable practices into their designs, it may be very important to you that your project achieves maximum sustainability even if that impacts on the aesthetics and the budget.
* Do you operate your business from home so need extensive cabinetry to hide both household appliances and business equipment and documents?
* Do you want your living environment to be warm and welcoming, child friendly, pet friendly?
* How long do you plan to live in the house and, if only for a short time, do you need to ensure that you do not overcapitalize the asset?


Don’t be afraid to ask your architect or designer what things cost and then extrapolate back to arrive at a budget. Sometimes you only have so much money to spend so need to get an idea of what is achievable for that budget. Sometimes the outcome is paramount so you may need to spend more than you thought. Either way there is no point in spending too much time on a brief before you know what things cost. Your architect or designer has the benefit of costings on previous projects so will be able to give you a very good indication of what your project is likely to cost. When they tell you – believe them! We all harbor the hope that we can achieve monumental outcomes for very little but we can’t. A realistic assessment of what is achievable from inception will contribute to a successful and stress free outcome.

Finalizing the brief

Never be afraid to seek the help of your architect or designer in formulating the final brief. By working closely with them you will help to establish a valuable dialogue and ensure that you have a clear understanding about creative references, functional needs, roles and responsibilities.

And never be afraid to change your mind at this formative stage of the project. Design briefs often evolve so that the final brief is quite different to the original brief. The important thing is to get it right because design changes later in the project have the potential to undermine the integrity of the overall design, delay the project and add to the cost.

A good brief, like any good document, is the foundation of success. In formulating a good brief, you empower your architect or designer to do what they do best with the potential to deliver a project quite literally beyond your comprehension.

Karen Vosjan is the owner & operator of Domain Design, Australia’s leading image driven portal featuring leading Architects and Designers, and showcasing their projects, and capabilities.For more details,

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Originally posted 2009-02-15 08:04:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Categories : Decorating Tips
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It is winter. The ground is frozen. What should a gardener do? The only thing left for an obsessed gardener to do is make a wish list of things to plant in the summer. Some plants that should be on any northern gardeners wish list are these three midwest natives: Coneflower, Black-eyed Susans, and False Indigo. Why should you care that they are natives? Any gardener worth their dirt knows that choosing native plants for your garden saves water, time, money and helps the environment by providing food for local wildlife.

Photo by melolou
Coneflower or echinacea is a native plant that is a wonderful contribution to any garden. As a flower it is quite simply pretty in pink and as a native it provides food for the wild life that visits your garden. It makes a great companion plant with many grasses and roses and sedum. It also has roots that can survive in drought weather and clay soil. It will reseed itself and spread in a friendly and non aggressive manner. It should certainly be at the top of any gardeners to plant list. Read More→

Originally posted 2010-01-13 14:42:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Color is definitly a *great* way to make your garden/landscaping stand out. It will also make your outdoors much happier and friendlier place to be!

I find it very helpful to take a picture(s) of the area (digital), then print them out on full size paper (in color;).

Then, take this picture(s) with you to your local nursery or garden center. Start looking around for things that grab your attention. Show your picture to a adviser or attendant and ask for suggestions. They will want to know about the direction of sun and hours of sunlight per area.

Read More→

Originally posted 2008-10-15 15:56:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Categories : Decorating Tips
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