Hang Wall Décor without Leaving Holes

When it comes to home renovations it is often the finishing touches which are most frustrating. Hanging wall décor for example can be a tedious and exasperating task, especially if you have spent the last few days filling nail holes and covering your room in a fresh, flawless coat of paint. The last thing you want to do is ruin your efforts by missing the mark when hanging a new piece of artwork.

Here are some tips and tricks you can use when hanging wall décor:

Use templates: One of the hottest trends in wall décor today is to hang a collection of framed photos to create a gallery-style arrangement. This is not as easy as it looks and can result in many misplaced hangers if not planned beforehand. The hanging process can be made easier by making some easy-to-use templates. Begin by tracing your frames onto paper and cutting out the different shapes and sizes. Then try arranging the paper templates on the floor before working with the real thing.

Purchase the appropriate hanging materials: Like all home renovation projects, hanging wall décor is best done by using the right equipment and materials. Consider purchasing a picture hanging kit which consists of wire, hooks and drywall screws from your local hardware or building supply store rather than using string, thumbtacks or other thrifty finds.

Easels make it easy: If you are unsure how to hang your wall décor consider skipping on the wall hanging altogether and purchase a tall, elegant floor easel instead. Displaying art in other ways can often add some unexpected drama to a room and can keep walls looking pristine!

Ask for advice: If an easel doesn’t fit your style of budget, but you are still unsure how to hang your new favorite piece of wall décor, consider asking a professional. Framing shop staff and gallery volunteers will be more than happy to offer suggestions, most of which will often save you a lot of time and money!

Like so many things in life, hanging wall decor is something which requires forethought and patience to do properly. If you follow the steps and take the extra time needed your walls are sure to be well decorated with beautifully placed wall décor.

Solar Water Heaters vs. Tankless Water Heaters

Energy efficiency and going “green” are huge movements in today’s world. Being aware of how much energy you are using and producing is not only important for yourself, but it also has an impact on the world. One way that people are being more environmentally conscious is with their water heaters. When deciding on a water heater for their home, most people take into account the efficiency of the heater as well as the cost and the amount of time it will take to payback the investment.

There are many different brands and types of water heaters, but two of the common types of water heaters today are solar powered water heaters and tankless water heaters. There are pros and cons to each type of water heater, so ultimately the decision comes down to your budget, what your values are, and what you want to do. Tankless water heaters use electricity or gas to heat the water on demand without the need to store excess water. Solar water heaters use energy collected from the sun through solar panels to heat water in storage tanks.

Tankless Water Heaters – Pros

  • They are much smaller than typical tank heaters and take up less space
  • You can typically save roughly 40% of the energy used by a traditional tank water heater
  • Tankless heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water when you need it
  • These best gas or electricity tankless water heaters have a longer life expectancy than tank water heaters (they can last for more than 20 years, whereas tank water heaters usually last for roughly 10-15 years.)

Tankless Water Heaters – Cons

  • These water heaters incur more upfront costs of investment than tank water heaters
  • If you are using an electrical unit, you will probably need to upgrade the electrical panel in your home to compensate for the increased amount of electricity.
  • Although tankless water heaters are more efficient than tank water heaters, they do not use a renewable source of energy

Solar Water Heaters – Pros

  • Solar energy that is used to power solar water heaters is a renewable source of energy
  • The federal government provides tax credits to help offset upfront costs
  • The system is simple to install and maintain
  • Because you don’t have to pay for the solar energy, this is a less expensive way to heat water

Solar Water Heaters – Cons

  • Solar water heaters have a high upfront cost and thus it will take longer for the savings to off
  • There are more parts involved in a solar water heater, so there are more chances that problems will occur and more things will need repair.
  • Solar water heaters require more storage space because they still use storage tanks

Deciding on what type of water heater you will use in your home can be a great way to save energy and create a greener home. There are many different types of water heaters available on the market today, but being aware of the benefits and disadvantages of each can help you make an informed and educated decision. The factors that determine which type of water heater you will choose are entirely up to you.

Hurst Shifter Install

Improving the “go as you row” in your late-model Mustang!

When the restyled Mustang debuted in 2005, it was an instant hit with everyone. Classic styling reminiscent of the first generation Mustangs, retro-style upholstery, gauges, and scoops reminded us of what a Mustang SHOULD look like.

Modern technology made sure we didn’t forget we were driving a new car though, it was truly the best of both worlds. Ford spent thousands of man-hours designing the car that would catapult them to center stage for years.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon though. Many things were designed with noise, serviceability, durability, and mostly cost in mind. In order to facilitate the instrument cluster and dash layout they wanted, the engine/transmission had to be moved forward, which would have meant the shifter would come through the floor under the dash. They designed a remote shifter that bolts to the transmission housing and the floor, and while it is acceptable, the shift quality is less than incredible, and is “spongy”, to say the least.

Hurst’s new Billet Plus shifter eliminates all the sloppiness and rubbery feel associated with the stock unit, plus it shortens the shifts to an incredible flick of the wrist. The shifter assembly retails for around $240, and while not as quick and easy as the old T-5 shifter swaps, can be done in an hour or so with hand tools. Hurst sent us one to try out on a project 2008 GT, and the owner couldn’t be happier with the results.


How to Treat an Ingrown Pimple

Pimples can be a bothersome problem for anyone who suffers from them. They can cause social anxiety. They can cause added stress and they can cause depression. We tend to associate pimples with puberty, and so we assume that the problem goes away when one reaches adulthood, but this is not the case. There are many people who suffer from many types of pimples. Some types of pimples are caused by an overproduction of oil by the glands in the skin; some are caused by an overuse of makeup; and still some are caused by factors like genetics or stress. There are many types of blemishes including blackheads, whiteheads, under the skin, and the most painful type of pimple, ingrown pimples. Be cautioned Ingrown pimples are not simply annoying. Ingrown pimples are an infection of the skin that can be caused by shaving. When one shaves against the grain hair follicles can become trapped under the skin and then become infected. These pimples are normally accompanied by soreness, inflammation and intense pain. They are particularly dangerous because there is the potential for the original infection to spread. These pimples can cause large painful abscesses on the skin that require extensive surgery to remove. These types of ingrown pimples can also hold pus and bacteria that when popped release bacteria onto the surface of the skin. Ingrown pimples are one of the most common causes of staphylococcus. Is it any wonder that people are looking for ways to treat these ingrown pimples.

So What Causes Ingrown Pimples

Ingrown pimples are caused by an opportunistic bacteria that colonizes and reproduces quickly. Shaving can impede the hair growth and so these follicles are trapped by the healing skin. These follicles become infected and so an ingrown pimple is created. The first step to treating an ingrown pimple is simply to prevent them from happening. The cheeks, neck, and chin are especially prone to ingrown pimples so one should avoid tight clothing. When shaving, it is important to use shaving cream and to moisturize afterwards. You should make sure that you are shaving with a clean razor that was stored in a dry place. This will prevent bacteria from being transferred to the skin.

One question people have about ingrown pimples is are they safe to pop? It may be surprising to know that ingrown pimples are actually safe to pop at home if you keep a few safety measures in mind. It is important to use proper hygiene when popping an ingrown pimple as the infection can spread to different areas of the skin. It is important to wash your skin before you pop the pimple and afterwards. You need to wash your hands any time you touch your face especially after popping an ingrown pimple. One method of getting rid of this kind of pimple is to use drawing sab. Drawing sab can be applied to the skin and will usually make the hair pop out of the top of the skin. To use this method you should thoroughly wash the skin and apply the salve. Then you need to cover the affected area with a bandage. Leave the bandage overnight and in the morning the ingrown hair should pop, or you should see a darkening area on the head of the pimple. Within another day the pimple should be ready to pop. You should wash the skin after the pimple head bursts and then you should apply neosporin to help it heal and apply a bandage to the area to keep it clean and dirt free.

If you are going to pop the pimple then you can exfoliate the area to draw the hair out and then pluck it with tweezers. You should make sure to sterilize the tweezers with flame and alcohol so that you can free the infected hair from the skin. While some people may go to a doctor to remove the hair, it is cheaper to do the procedure at home, but it is important to use a clean needle, and to take proper care of the wound.

So what are some other home remedies for getting rid of ingrown pimples? The first home remedy is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has wonderful antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties that make it wonderful for killing the bacteria that causes the acne to colonize. You can also use green tea. You can use a green tea treatment as a hot compress so that the antibiotics sink into the skin. The heat will also help the swelling and aid in pain control. Another well used home remedy is aspirin. Aspirin can help to reduce the swelling and the pain of pimples. You crush it dilute slightly with water and apply it to the skin.

Perhaps one of the best preventative methods for keeping ingrown hair at bay is to simply exfoliate the skin. Exfoliating the skin daily removes particles of dirt and oil, and can also allow ingrown hairs to pop out of the skin. You can exfoliate with a simple washcloth and hot water to use this method you should take a hot shower and let the steam unclog your pores. You will need to stay in the shower for at least ten minutes and then use a course wash clean cloth to exfoliate and sterilize the skin. It is important to remember to take proper care of your razors and dispose them in a timely manner. The hot wet area of the shower creates a prime place for pesky germs to grow so it is important to store and cover your raiser.


The 5 Best Tools for Guys

Remodeling is both exciting, but can also be intimidating. Whether you’re seeking a full-on renovation or just doing a few repairs in your kitchen, it often involves carpentry, electrical, roofing and woodworking. Actually completing those remodeling jobs around the house means you need the right tools that can keep your budgets and projects on track. From a handheld jigsaw, edge sander and router to a painting kit, the following tools can inspire even the most reluctant handyman to go out and fix something.

If you have to trim less than 1/2 inch, a hand plane is a good tool. A power hand-plane can be used for taking off varying depths of wood. You can adjust the depth. Time was, a hand plane was an indispensable tool, used to smooth and shape the surface of wood. The tool comes with basic function, but it often gets the jobs done much faster.

A well-equipped miter saw is essential for completing jobs around the house décor. These innovative new power devices offer professional carpenters for nearly every cutting job around the house. A best sliding miter saw is powerful enough on what your needs for cut capacity are. I love the products from Dewalt and Ryobi, they are professional, simple and make solid stands.

Cordless drill is another power tool for just about everything, even DIY and home improvement. Its keyless chuck accepts a wide variety of round drill. And all drills allows you to adjust the amount of torque for precise screwdriving. I prefer a cordless model as it allows me to drill holes and drive screws with the same tool. As compared with a cordless drill, a corded drill offers high power, which means greater run time.

Although a portable air compressor won’t cut and shape wood, but it’s one of the most important tools for lighter applications like inflating tires or sports equipment. More and more people like to choose both manual and electrically powered tools to embrace the more efficient of pneumatic tools. There is a wide range of compressor available on the market. Consider what you need before making a purchase.

A brad nailer is a smaller version of a finish nailer, which typically is used for attaching small moldings. Whether you’re laying hardwood floor or rebuilding your broken desks, a cordless brad nailer is great for these small tasks with more precise and power so you can save a lot of time.


Wallpaper Tips

Although wallpaper has been around since 200 BC when the ancient Chinese glued rice paper onto their walls, it was not until the late 1400s that wallpaper appeared in a form similar to what we have today. Wallpaper came to America in the mid 1700s and was soon a fashion hit. Originally hand-blocked, wallpaper was time consuming to make, but the variety of styles greatly increased the patterns available. The choices were only hindered by the imagination of the creator.

The Victorian Era and the Roaring 20s brought wallpaper to the next level, the latter known as the Golden Age of Wallpaper.

Following World War II, and many changes later, the pre-pasted, pre-trimmed, and an easily removable version made wallpaper easily assessable to the public.

Its popularity waned during the later 20th century, but because of the endless choices in today’s styles and colors, wallpaper is again on the upswing.

As wallpaper has evolved over the years, an incredible variety of matching or contrasting borders has added to the mix. A border can be placed around the top of the wall just below the ceiling, or around the lower level to make a chair rail effect.

Now, depending on the theme of decor, wallpaper can look amazing almost anywhere in the home adding an architectural interest to any room.

One of the best aspects of wallpaper is that it is easy to change patterns and looks. When using removable wallpaper, someone can change a family room into an office or a den into a nursery in just one day. There is any number of colors and styles from which to choose.

Wallpaper has come along way since Chinese rice paper. The different types of wallpaper material include paper or fabric, or texture with little or no color, plain color, or print. You can even hang wallpaper and then paint it any color you choose.

The only thing you need to consider when choosing wallpaper is to which room you want to paper (i.e. kitchen, bathroom, den), the type and color of the furniture, the size of the room, and whether there are nooks and crannies that could prove challenging.

You can match the wallpaper to whatever theme you are considering, or already have in place. If you have a cottage theme throughout your house, you would want to choose wallpaper that fits in rather than placing an art deco paper that would clash with the rest of the home.

Wallpaper can add a greater dimension to a room than you ever thought possible, or it can look glaringly out of place. Take time to consider your options, look at a variety of samples, and enjoy the relatively easy change to your home.


Formal Home Decorating

When most people think of a formal home decorating style, they think of the elegant homes of past eras, high-end hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton, or the decor the the White House and other public buildings. Formal homes and buildings were constructed with elaborate detail usually including deep baseboard moldings and highly polished hand-laid hardwood floors.

A distinguishing feature of the formal decor relates to the outward form, structure, or arrangement of elements rather than the contents. The style is more about appearance than substance created especially to attract the attention of others.

The formal home decorating style consists of symmetrical lines in the tall windows, wood furniture, and flooring. Artwork, accessories, and furniture are often arranged in exact pairs throughout the room in keeping with the straight lines of the structure.

In each entryway and interior room, the eye is drawn to a central focal point, whether a beautiful fireplace, a large painting or statue, or an elegant garden outside as seen through tall picture windows dominating a far wall.

The focal point could also be an elegant desk centered in a study surrounded by walls of shelves filled with books from floor to ceiling, a well-tended fireplace, and stylish seating. A highly polished grand piano could well be the focal point of the conservatory or drawing room.

Brilliant crystal chandeliers are often included in the entryway, and formal dining and living rooms, hanging from high sculptured ceilings. Wall sconces are seen throughout the home. Large original oil paintings, handcrafted sculptures, and antiques are often strategically placed throughout the space.

All surfaces are polished to a high gloss, as opposed to the low gloss of the casual style. Dark mahogany, maple, or cherry wood are often used for walls and furniture.

Persian carpets and Oriental rugs are placed on the polished floors. Rich, luxurious fabrics are used to drape windows, cover sofas and pillows, and the pillows and bedspreads draped over opulent beds.

The formal home decorating style does not lend itself to easy, casual living. It is often a rigid style of decor, meant to look at and admire more than comfortably live in day to day.


Modern Home Decorating

To ensure decorating success for your home or room, before you begin your project you must first understand the look you desire to achieve. A modern home decorating style utilizes a clean, streamlined look, neutral color palette, and sleek, smooth finish. Understanding the style will also help you choose the best accessories and accent pieces to highlight the space. Shopping is less of a challenge when you have a specific style in mind, and can focus on the pieces that best fit your chosen style.

The style you decide to use defines the color, space, and shape of the room while also defining the furniture and accessories occupying the room.

Debut of the modern style

The modern home decorating style made its debut in the 1930s, and was characterized by its polished surfaces, strong geometric shapes, and asymmetrical lines.

The look values function over form. Open floor plans are common with floor to ceiling windows unadorned by drapes or blinds allowing natural light to flow into the space.

A neutral color palette provides an opportunity to highlight the accessories. White walls allow furnishings, fabrics, and accessories of neutral tone-on-tone to take center stage.

Sleek and smooth

Finished surfaces are smooth and sleek. Floors are often made of concrete, granite or linoleum and chrome or stainless steel accents the furniture and accessories.

Stainless steel and chrome are found in the kitchen, and a lacquered finish is often applied to kitchen cabinets. Linoleum kitchen floors are common.

Accessories in a modern home decorating theme should stand out. Lamps in neutral colors such as black or white, and sporting a geometric shape will make a strong statement.

Accessorize for striking effect

Accessories are often made of industrial materials for a striking effect. Choose chrome or solid colors, and keep coffee and end tables and other surfaces free from clutter.

The placement of artwork in a modern home supports the look of the style. Bold geometric shapes and lines on artwork strategically placed to receive the best lighting will make a strong statement.

If you are partial to a smooth, clean, streamlined look in your furniture and accessories, the modern home decorating look may be your style choice. The neutral palate and strategic placement of furniture and accessories give the room, and home, a sophisticated look.


Seek Balance in Your Home Decorating Style

We may not always know why, but many of us feel more comfortable in our homes when we find and maintain balance in our decorating style. Many people have laid out rules over the years in an attempt to help people successfully decorate their homes. While the advice from numerous decorators can be overwhelming, there are still a few key areas you can look at to help you reach your decorating goal.

Unless you are attempting a formal elegant style, you will find that today’s decor is much more informal than in the past. To help you find balance, consider the following as you prepare to decorate your space:

Consider whether you want light or dark colors in the room. What look are you going for? How many windows do you have that can help brighten the room from an outside light source? Do you want dark walls and furniture in an area where you will need to rely on interior lighting?

Consider the size of the room and the number of pieces of furniture you plan to have in the space. Also, consider the size of each piece of furniture. You do not want to overwhelm the room with too many large items.

What type of items will go in the room? If it is a family room, you probably will not have your antique crystal collection on display. Go with user-friendly sofas, chairs, and end tables. Save the breakables for a more formal location.

You can use size and weight of the objects to balance a room. Group like objects together such a several candles of varying sizes, or a few books or other items grouped together for a nice look.

Let your intuition guide you as to whether the decor in the room is something you will feel comfortable with when you finish. Stand in a couple of different areas of the room and sense how you feel about the placement of furniture and objects.

As you look around, how does it look to you? Does it feel welcoming and homey, or do you dread using that room? If it does not feel right, consider what needs moved, removed, or added.

When you seek balance in your home decor hopefully you will allow yourself to enjoy the process. Relax and get a sense of how the room feels to you. If you like it, you will more than likely enjoy your newly decorated space.


Budget Decorating

When economic times are tough but you long to redecorate a room or two, you can still refresh your space while on a budget. Using your imagination and a few of our suggestions, you can bring a dull room back to life even while budget decorating. If you have a room that looks like it is a floor model for the local used furniture drop-off, with just a few changes, you can have a room that will bring you comfort and joy.

Check out your options

Luckily, you have options. If your furniture is made of wood, but the mix of colors and textures leave you cold, you can use stain and varnish to bring the wood tones to a close match. You could also consider painting the wood a matching color, depending on what theme you are going for. White furniture works especially well with a beach, country, or cottage theme.

If the furniture is upholstered, you can buy slipcovers for the sofa and chairs, either matching or in complementary colors or prints. If you are handy with a sewing machine, you save even more by making them yourself.

Changing the color brings an instant transformation to the room. You could change the slipcovers twice a year with dark colors in the winter, and white or neutral in the summer. Slipcovers for a sofa should be of a plain color with prints or flowers on the smaller pieces of furniture.

You can easily change the look of a room with a can or two of paint. Try painting just one wall with an accent color if you do not want to paint the whole room. If the main color of the room is neutral, consider using a splashy, vibrant accent color. If the room is dark or brightly painted, the accent color should be a more neutral hue.

Quick and easy fix

Pillows and throws are a quick and inexpensive way to change up a room. Pick up the accent wall color in the pillows. Also, consider candles, lamps, or vases in accent colors, especially if the main theme is a neutral color. Treat area rugs the same way when choosing colors.

Rearrange the furniture, moving away from the wall and into conversational groupings. Change out furniture, lamps, and/or pictures from other rooms for a quick update, especially check out what you have in the bedrooms that might transition to the family room for a season. Rotate framed pictures around the house, and the season if you have pictures that are holiday themed.

Frequent local flea markets and estate sales for inexpensive pieces to use in your updated space. That said, clear as much clutter as possible to give your room a fresh look. If you do not want to spend a lot of money, just changing items from room to room is the most inexpensive way to utilize budget decorating.