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Knots Landing on My Table

Wood furniture and cabinets are a beautiful thing, especially when they are made well. I'm sure that you've noticed a time or two that the face of a cabinet shows few knots, and some table tops show the same.

I remember from my days on the sales floor (2000 – 2004) that some customers wonder why their table had more knots, or less knots, than those on the showroom floor. The same question areose from customers interested in high-end granite table sets. The answer is simple. God made it that way. That's not sarcasm, that's reality. When stone is cut from a mountain in India that piece of stone is going to have different character than the one cut from the next mountain over. The same goes with a wood table. Each tree is a little different and the character is to be enjoyed as a part of creation. Do not be alarmed if you buy new cabinets or furniture made of real wood and there is a big knot right in the middle of it. If you are ready to buy a real wood table or a granite kitchen table, be prepared to enjoy years of nature right there in your home.

If you want consistency in your table top, then you may need to start shopping for tables that have a laminate, Zodiaq or Corain top as they will look almost exactly the same as the sample or display piece. Be Forewarned, Corain and Zodiaq are pricey, and laminate tops are rare, but they are non-porous and more resistant to stains and water marks.

Home Staging – What Not To Do

Believe it or not, many people do not understand that the way we live in our homes is far different from how it should be presented at sale time. For example, we have two dog crates under our dining room table. It's very convenient for us, and the space is not used frequently. However, if we were to put our house on the market, those crates would have to go. The dining room would need to be presented as such, not as a kennel!

In today's real estate market, it's more important than ever to be sure sure your house looks great, functions well, and appeals to the broadest possible pool of buyers. In no particular order, here are some things I've seen in homes that are for sale, with recommendations. These things may have made the sellers' lives easier, but made it more difficult to sell their homes!

  • Refrigerator in the dining room; of course, there was also one in the kitchen. I told them to move it to the attached garage.
  • Freezer in the kitchen, crowding the valuable eat-in area. Again, the garage is a more suitable place.
  • Water cooler in the upstairs hallway, visible from the two-story foyer. We moved it to the children's bathroom. You do not want people to think the tap water is bad as part of their first impression.
  • Dog crate, bird cage and treadmill in the formal living room. I recommended they rent some appropriate furniture and remove the cages and treadmill.
  • Bed tray with a bottle and wine glasses in the master bedroom. That's not staging. To really create a relaxing get-away, I told the sellers to get rid of the clutter, laundry, dog bed and children's toys crowding the room.
  • Overabundance of Asian art, objects, furniture, and collectibles. These items are too taste-specific. We had them packed away.
  • An entire family room wall devoted to model trains, all lined up on little shelves. Again, too taste-specific. The shelving needed to be removed, because they were not useful for anything else.
  • A devotion to multi-cultural goddesses resulting in too much taste-specific art. By packing them up early, they remained safe.
  • Valuable fireplaces blocked by puppet theaters, tables, and sofas. We provided floor plans that have good traffic flow and highlighted the focal point and key selling feature: the fireplace.
  • Dark, heavy drapery dropped over the windows in the daytime. Light, airy rooms sell. Leave the drapery open as wide as possible to let in the light. Be sure the windows are clean!
  • Shiny brass light fixtures. Updating them will appeal to more buyers, and lets them know you've maintained the house.
  • Wallpaper and borders. Do not even ask. If you've still got them, assume they MUST be removed. Does not matter how pretty or new they are, buyers do not want to have to do the work themselves.
  • Masks of any kind. Does not matter if they're from Africa or Mardi Gras, masks can be a little creepy. Pack them now.
  • Oversized photos as art. It's not art that will appeal to buyers. Replace these pictures of your wedding or children with something more generic such as a landscape or abstract.

If you are preparing your house for the market, be aware of how each space is provided to function. Allow the personality and features of the house to come forward, not your own. Present it in as clean and updated a condition as possible.

What's Your Decorating Style?

Everyone has their own decorating style, yours will be different from mine, and your sister's will be different from yours …

It is very important to truly understand your own decorating style, before you make any decisions regarding your hardwood floor purchase.

The best way to find out what your design style is, is to look around you. If you are just starting out in life and do not own any furniture; you are just out of collage and have no idea what you like … take a good look in your closet.

Your favorite pieces will tell a story, will guide you in the right direction. If you have been around for a while, and over a years had a chance to collect different furniture pieces, they will also tell you what you like and where to go from there.

You may have an eclectic style that started with some of your grandmother's pieces, you added to them over time to complement them and to, form your own decorating style. You may discover that you like the rustic feel of the wide plank pine floor, with it's own build in beauty, showcasing the deep, dark knots, that give it fabulous character.

Or you may love the stream-lined style of modern design, at home with spectacular, smooth maple floors, that look seamless and elegant.

Then there are the traditional, sophisticated and rich dark tones of majestic oak floor, with just the right amount of grain interwoven through each board. Here you may find gleaming dinning room tables and Persian area rugs, with tailor drapery framing the windows.

If you like the traditional style, but are a bit more boring in life, you may love hardwood similar to oak, but with a lot more grain and character, incredible beauty of ash will work with your style.

No matter what your own style is, you should know it, before you start making any decisions regarding your new hardwood flooring choices.

You see, the choice that you make here will become one of the major parts of your decorating scheme. If all your furniture are shaker style or traditional country, they will be out of place on a modern, seamless maple.

If you own high lacquered, sophisticated pieces it will be a mistake to showcase them on the wide plank, knotted pine. If you are sure of what your decorating style is, your choice of hardwood will work not only with the furniture that you already own, but also with those, that you will acquire in the future.

One other aspect of choosing your hardwood floor process that must be considered along with the decorating style is your lifestyle, or in other words, you need to look into your families, activities, their habits, and their favorite locations within the house.

Only then your decision will be the right one.

How to Safely Avoid the Flu

Preventing the flu, particularly during the flu season, is a big problem as most people believe. You can set an appointment for a flu shot, but with all the recent studies warning that the vaccine is unsafe, why take a risk when there are healthier and safer ways to beat the flu?

Vaccines, including the flu shot, have mercury and are frequently linked to the autism epidemic in children. Beside mercury, other hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde and phenol are used by pharmaceutical companies to concoct the flu shot.

Would you still want to be vaccinated against the flu knowing that you are injecting your body with toxic substances?

For those who are not comfortable with the flu shot, here are several tips on how to fend off the flu without using the flu vaccine:

Make sure that your hands are clean at all times. If you rub your eyes or nose after you come in contact with someone who already has the flu virus, you greatly increase your risk of catching the flu. By washing your hands frequently with warm soapy water, you greatly lower the risk of getting infected with contagious diseases such as the flu. It is best to wash up before and after preparing food, before and after meals, after going to the bathroom, or whenever your hands are unclean.

Keep your house clean. Be sure that surfaces and objects that you and your family come in contact with are clean and disinfected frequently.

Choose to live healthy. Prevention is always better than the cure. Improve your natural defense versus the flu by fortifying your immune system. You can improve your immune system's defenses by making easy changes to your daily routine, like switching from coffee to tea, shunning sugar, getting enough sleep and relaxing often.

Rest. Take a breath and rest if you feel like you are about to go down with the flu. The break may be as short as a couple of hours or as long as a couple of days, which is preferable than catching a bad case of the flu and having to stay away from the office for much longer.

Do not have unnecessary contact with other people. Stay clear from places that are too crowded, such asalls and airports. This is a must if you have issues with your immune system and for younger kids, who can easily get infected with the flu virus.

Consume plenty of water. Pure water is your best choice. Stay away from distilled water because its nutrients have been knocked away. It is ideal to drink at least a quart of pure water for every 50 pounds of body weight. Also, stay away from sodas, coffee, and energy drinks.

Radiators Keep Your House Warm In The Winter

Radiators are heat switching devices that help keep an area warm during the cold winter. They heat up a given space by transferring thermal energy from one medium to another.

How Does Radiator Heating Work

In a radiator, electrically heated water travels through metal pipes placed within walls and ceilings. By the process of convection heating, this heated water in turn produces heat. Water is heated in a central boiler which is circulated through a building by pumps through a radiator.

Radiators may be of a single pipe type or a double pipe one. The single pipe ones work on steam while the double pipe ones work either on steam or water.

Types Of Radiators

Radiators have been around for quite some time. Over the years, various kinds have evolved bring in a variety of designs to suit modern homes.

* Compact radiators are perfect for small rooms. They come with factory fitted top grills and end panels.

* Steel panel convector heaters involve low maintenance and installation costs. They are compact in size and come with or without the top grill. They can be as small as 11 square inches. The electro zinc plating and powder coating build resistance against humid conditions.

* Towel radiators, better known as bathroom radiators, are electric driven and can be set up separate from the central heating system. They bring in the comfort of having warm towels in the bathroom. They come in various designs and often become an object of attraction.

* Low surface temperature radiators were initially designed to prevent burns. They were first introduced in health care centers. Nowadays, they have become quite popular for rooms of children and the elderly. The temperature in a low surface temperature radiator does not go beyond 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

* Storage radiators are excellent energy conserving radiators and prove to be cost effective. They store energy during the night time when electricity demand is low. The stored energy is then discharged during the day.

* Tubular radiators are sleek and stylish and designed for modern homes. They come in various colors and can match the décor of every interior. Buyers have the freedom to choose the shape, color and finish as per their house's design.

* Cast iron radiators may look bulky and can take up considerable amount of space. They, however, have their own set of advantages. These can be painted to suit the color of the rest of the home's design. Moreover, the paint helps to control the heat generated. Heat resistant paints are also available for this purpose. The cast iron radiators are driven by hot water or steam. Although electric versions exist, they may not be the best choice for large spaces.

When winter sets in, the chill can penetrate right into the bones. In such weather, the best cozy place that one can think of would be home, sweet home. Setting up an efficient radiator at home can make this all the more comfortable. It is not possible to have fireplaces in all homes now-a-days, but it is definitely capable to have radiators. Select the best one for your home and enjoy a warm and happy winter.

Considering Wicker Furniture – Things to Consider When Buying Wicker Furniture

Styles

Wicker is available in many styles and colors. You can also choose between natural wicker and resin wicker. Natural wicker is made from either rattan or bamboo and is more appealing because of its natural beauty, strength and flexibility. The only drawback is that it requires some cleaning and maintenance. If you want less maintenance and more durability, poly resin wicker is a good choice. This is especially true if it's exposed to the weather. Colors choices include white, mocha, tan, black or natural. Many styles are available including Victorian and Contemporary

Use

When choosing wicker furniture you will want to consider the location the furniture will be placed in. For instance, if your furniture is going anywhere inside your home, like a bedroom or closed in patio, natural wicker is a good choice. If you intend to use it outside where it will be exposed to the sun and rain, you may want to consider resin wicker. However natural wicker has proven to be very durable in whatever area it is placed. It just may require a little more maintenance.

Either way, natural or resin wicker is a good choice for indoor or outdoor use and will last many years. Space is also a consideration as you do not want to purchase pieces that are too big or too small for the area.

Durability

Wicker made from Rattan is generally considered more durable than bamboo or other natural materials and can better withstand the elements, like rain, snow wind and humidity. Synthetic wicker or resin wicker is considered the most durable and does not degrade. It is also flexible and can be made in many styles and colors that match the beauty and uniqueness of natural wicker. Both natural and resin wicker furniture requires low maintenance. Usually dusting or wiping down with a wet cloth is sufficient.

Wrap Up

Hopefully this article will give you enough information that you can make an intelligent decision on what kind of furniture you need for your home. Color, style, design and space are important factors in deciding on the choice. Wicker furniture, either natural or synthetic, can be an ideal choice for your patio, porch, pool or garden area. It is lightweight and it's durability, flexibility and environmental friendliness make it the best choice you can make for your home. Also wicker is more affordable than most furniture. There are many places you can buy wicker furniture. Shopping online is the best way to get the best deals. Now that you know a little more about Wicker, you can see that it is a great option for those who want great looking and durable furniture for their home.

Six Things to Consider Before Buying Furniture for the Restaurant

Restaurant furniture is important to the success of any restaurant or hotel. It is furniture that not only serves its function, but it also contributes to the ambience of the establishment. Restaurant furniture design set the tone for the style in the restaurant setting.

A restaurant never fails because of its food, but it fails because of its arrangement of furniture. Thus investing in long-lasting, durable, and practical, as well as eye-catching but affordable restaurant furniture and other furnishing trimmings is a necessity

So before rushing out and purchasing furniture for restaurant take into consideration below mention points to have a proper ambience and setting in the restaurant.

  1. Budget: The first and the foremost thing before choosing any restaurant furniture available for sale is that you need to do is prepare a budget. You will just lose time and effort finding the right furniture you want and end up unable to afford it. Set a budget that you are comfortable and then let the search begin. The furniture that you cannot afford is like having no furniture at all. So make it a point you have the budgeting done right away.
  2. Restaurant Design: When choosing a restaurant furniture it is important to determine where you will be placing it because appeal and functionality should go hand in hand. So it is important to consider the furniture which is beautiful indoor and best for outdoor. If you are going for outdoor furniture, then make sure it move around easily and should be sturdy and able to withstand weather conditions. If you are considering indoor furniture, then go for style and comfortable furniture. The goal of finding unique restaurant furniture should be visually stimulating at the same time functional and affordable. You also have to consider the space of the restaurant in choosing the best furniture.
  3. Comfort: When buying restaurant furniture online it is important to consider the comfort factor. It will not make sense for your customer to have furniture that may look good; but uncomfortable. Ergonomically designed chairs and tables are recommended. Give your customers an attractive appeal with soft vinyl couches near the window. Whether you need a stylish furniture range with modern designs or an upholstered range, your choice should make the restaurant welcoming and beautiful without compromising on comfort.
  4. Size: It is important to buy right sized furniture to have a clean, clutter-free and organised look. A heavy furniture will consume a lot of space of your restaurant, and the cramped space will make it inconvenient for your customers and restaurant staff to move around freely. Thus known the dimensions and accordingly arrange the furniture to optimise space.
  5. Material: Restaurant Furniture for sale are available in an array of material. From wood to plastic all kind of furniture options is available. Wood Furniture always make a good choice as they are easy to clean and require very little maintenance but it may make a restaurant seem ordinary. While glass top tables with metal chairs provide a style to the restaurant. Thus all available options should be considered before making a decision.
  6. Shape: Besides being classy and fashionable, there is one important fact, and that is the shape of a table. Most people love square and rectangular tables, which are best for long rooms where the table corners won’t get in the way. Round tables also make a great addition to the restaurant and are best utilised in closed spaces so as not to take much space and allow more seating. Looking for accommodation, restaurant table bases vary widely, so you need to consider table bases which provide more leg room and which will create a more stable table.

Weight Loss Diets for Men – Important Facts You Need to Know

Diets were never a man's thing. The word "diet" almost has a feminine claim to it that men do not like to consider themselves as being "on a diet", even if they are trying to cut their portions so they can lose the extra pounds. They were better off using exercise to lose those extra pounds. Lifting weights, running, bicycling – all these were more masculine and hence had more appeal. If you are closely looked at weight loss programs, you'll notice that a lot of them use female models, utilize female facts and paraded female success stories.

You could possibly blow it on man's physiological makeup. By nature, men could burn off fat easily because their metabolisms work faster. They also lead more active lifestyles, especially where sports are concerned. And because of this, they need more calories. Here, they can never live on the tightly controlled, thinly-sliced ​​portions on women's weight loss diets.

But times are changing. Whether you have Hollywood to thank for that by showing extremely ripped bodies of Brad Pitt in Troy or the growing vanity thought about by the steady commercialization of the multibillion dollar fitness industry, the truth of the matter is that men are now, hold on to your seats, dieting! Even if they do not like to admit that what they're doing is dieting, they are now very conscious about buying smaller plates, eating smaller meals and weighing themselves on the bathroom every now and then.

You can not blame them. After all, men are not spared the bulging midsections thought about by sedentary lifestyles and overeating. Hypertension, diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions are also enough reasons to get them to be concerned about what they eat. But do weight loss diets for men really exist?

It's really a difficult question to answer. The most common diets practiced today (Atkins, South Beach, GI Diets) were not specifically tailored for men. South Beach was originally developed by Dr. Agatston for his heart patients. GI Diets are based on the glycemic value of foods rather than on gender considerations. And while Atkins seem like the ideal diet for men because it allows lots of room for mayo, red meat and butter creams, the high-protein low fat content of the diet still poses a lot of unresolved health issues.

Losing weight, whether for health or aesthetic reasons, is always a worthy goal. Thus, the more important issue is whether there is a particular weight loss diet for men. For men, any diet that focuses on eating a well-balanced meal from a variety of food sources, drinking lots of water and spreading out the meals taken everyday, is the weight loss diet. It does not mean severely limiting portions to the point of hunger, but it means cutting down a bit. If the voracious eater in you used to eat one big slab of steak at dinner, dieting means halving it down gradually until you get used to only one of the sizes of a deck of cards. If you were used to eating 3 main meals a day all with huge portions, dieting means spreading out your meals 6 times with smaller servings. If you usually snack on a box of donuts, dieting means snacking on half the box, then a fourth, until you get used to only one donut or none at all. While you do have to quit on the soda if you really want to lose weight, dieting consuming smaller portions while replacing it with healthier alternatives (like fruit smoothies) until you do not crave for it anymore.

That's the real weight loss diet for men.

Pros And Cons of Using Microfiber Towels

The invention of microfiber brought a revolution in the market few years back. Microfiber towels were successfully launched for cleaning and dusting. Microfiber towels even proved useful to clean oil stains. Right from its inception, this fiber was considered to be far more superior to other fibers available in the market. Microfiber is not only superior in quality but is also quite affordable so it became extremely popular in the cloth industry.

With an excellent cleaning capabilities these towels also became very popular at home for day to day use. This is why people started using such towels for heavy cleaning.

Prior to the invention of microfiber, people preferred to use cotton towels which had an excellent absorption power. But microfiber towels have very high absorbency as compared to cotton towels. Microfiber was an excellent alternative to the old cotton in various products like in microfiber bath towels, sportswear, dusting towels etc. Since these towels have very high absorbency, they are very often used by sports persons and in the gym since they effectively absorb sweat of the person. The average life of microfiber towel is many times more than other conventional towels.

Microfiber brought real change to our lives as it delivered excellent products which replaced other fibers used so far. It is considered to be the best material to wipe out all stains on furniture. If suppose you have spilled some liquid on table or some sauce in kitchen then a microfiber towel can be used to clean them perfectly without leaving a trace of the incident. This kind of towel is not only known for being the best absorbent and it also dries up quite fast.

Microfiber bath towels are extensively used at swimming pools because of its high absorption quality. When swimmers come out of the pool they wipe out their bodies using these. Also, since they are ready to use in very short interval of time as they dry up very quickly, the swimmer can use it again after the wash.

Microfiber bath towels are generally preferred by people living in colder regions where drying your towel daily after bath is not that easy. Even at room temperatures microfiber bath towels dry up much faster as compared to regular cotton bath towels, hence preventing your towel from acquiring mildew odor which initiates due to dampness.

Microfiber bath towel need special care while washing. An extra effort is required from your end to maintain such towels. You can easily wash cotton bath towels with hot water and soap in your washing machine, but washing these towels is a bit more elaborate. While washing a microfiber bath towel you need to follow the wash instructions given on your towel. By following these simple wash instructions you can enjoy using the microfiber towel for a very long time.

What's the Hype With Coin Collecting? It's Fun

If you are ever wondering what the hype is about with coin collecting then this is the article for you. Coin collecting is a great hobby. It also turns into a business for some. Any variation from a coin that is in regular circulation is collectable. Some of the coins include Quarters and Dimes before 1965. They are made of 90% silver. An easy and very fast way to check for these coins in your wallet or from a bank coin roll is to just look at the side of the coins. If the side is all silver with no copper showing, then it is a silver coin. Be careful with nickels however, because only the 1942 to 1945 nickels are silver. They are 35% silver and checking the sides will not work because they do not have enough copper in them to begin with.

1944 Steal Penny

One of the best finds you could get would be a 1944 steal penny. These penny's are worth between $ 100,000 and $ 200,000. The same is true for the copper 1945 penny. The reason for this is because copper was used for the war to make bullets. They used steal for pennies during 1945 so they are supposedly to be steel. If they are copper when you find a 1945 penny then you have a very rare wheat penny worth a lot of money.

You can use the silver side trick for half dollars as well. Older half dollars are ninety percent silver and semi old Kennedy Half dollars are 30% silver.

You can also go on eBay or coin websites like heritage auctions.com. You can get US coins, International Coins, ancient coins, and more. When you bid on a coin in an auction site. Be sure to make sure that the coin is in at least fine condition. You do not want a coin that is in bad condition because it makes the coin worth less.

Coin Roll Hunting

If you really want something cool to get added to, try going to your local bank. Go to the bank where your checking account is. Ask for rolls of coins! I usually ask for a box of pennies, which is $ 25 worth of pennies or 50 rolls. I also ask for a few dime and nickel rolls. What you'll find will always be a ton of fun. I collect wheat pennies which I find in every other roll usually, Indian Head pennies which in great condition are worth at least $ 10 especially if the word "Liberty" on the headdress band is clear. The 1906 S Indian Head Penny is worth $ 600! It is rare. I've found buffalo nickels which when the dates are legitimate are worth $ 2.00 at least. I found Mercury dimes which show a winged liberty bust of lady liberty and are silver. Also, silver war nickels. Taking out a quarter roll is fun too. You'll find a few silver ones now and then. A 1932 Silver quarter is worth good money. Happy coin hunting!