Wind Chimes Through The Ages


People would widely view wind chimes as an entirely aesthetic decorative object, predominantly displayed in gardens and patios. Wind Chimes are, however part of a rather rich tapestry of history, going back at almost five thousand years, showing it’s predominance in many ancient cultures. Taking advantage of natural wind flow, they are widely regarded as one of the first musical instruments, and are still used in musical pieces to this day. In this article I will attempt to outline the cultural heritage of these popular household additions.
When considering where the first chime emerged, they were used under the superstition of evil spirits, with wind chimes being able to ward away the spirits. Archaeological evidence has shown early chimes in South East Asia, and carbon dating techniques have been used to estimate their age to somewhere as far back as 3000 BC, which speaks as a testament to just how important these items are to our human heritage. It has also been theorized that farmers would use chimes in lieu of scarecrows to keep birds away from their crops.
The idea of chimes working as a ward against evil spirits and in unison attract positive spirits has been prevalent throughout east-Asian history. In the year 1100 BC, the Chinese were documented making a wind bell named the feng-ling, hung and used throughout spiritually significant sites, this is still in practice in many temples across China today, there has even been superstitions as to certain chimes being cursed and attracting evil spirits. This superstition fueled the proliferation of wind chimes throughout the far east, and of course the market expanded massively.
Wind Chimes have only been seen in the western world from the 1800s onwards as a cultural export from China. It slowly became a trend to keep such items in homes opposed to places of worship. Feng-Shui, which is the Chinese system of aesthetics, increased the popularity of these items as they were thought to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the surrounding area.
The rich history of the chime spans from western to eastern cultures and is one of the oldest decorative objects known to be used by mankind. Maybe it’s supposed spiritual properties were what held it in such high regard with human beings over all these years, or maybe it is the relaxing feel and overall aura it gives to the surrounding environment. The chime has been around for a long time, and I suspect that it will be around for much longer.

Timeless Beauty – Kitchen Remodeling


With open spaces, rustic details and natural elements, a classic kitchen design will still look fresh long after you remodel. Three kitchen styles especially endure throughout the centuries: French Provencal, Tuscan and Country Farmhouse. These styles value rustic beauty and natural color schemes, but most of all, each offers comfortable living. With open floor plans and design, they are perfect for entertaining and family life. Discover details that could make your next kitchen remodel the last.
From Italy with love Tuscan-style kitchens feature natural elements, earthy colors and curved arches made of wood or stone. Open shelves provide space for cookbooks, pottery and other décor. The spaces often open up to a family room, porch or walkway or outside rooms. For a Tuscan kitchen floor, look for reclaimed wood plank flooring, integral-colored concrete or stone flooring, such as limestone or travertine. For ceilings, use either plaster, or if the ceiling is vaulted, wood plank in combination with heavy wood reclaimed timbers. And while you have so many materials to choose from for your counter tops, some options could be stone surfaces such as marble, granite, limestone, quartz or quartz-based which would be the best options for Tuscan style. Light your task spaces with rustic, wrought iron fixtures, not anything shiny or modern.
When designing a Tuscan kitchen, wood cabinets should not only provide storage, but also personality. For Tuscan-style homes, we often distress the wood to make it appear aged. Continue the rustic natural texture with wooden doors and windows. Color palettes or arrangement of colors can vary, but always draw from the natural colors of the region. With Tuscan design, there are a lot of choices. Typically, you would do off-white to pale yellow palette. You can also do vibrant colors such as red or blue. When using interior plasters, such as marble-based plaster, the colors become even richer.
With the Country Farmhouse comfort style of remodeling your kitchen you have more design freedom. Traditionally, farmhouse kitchens were the gathering space of the home. You can either stick with traditional panel and frame door cabinetry, or opt for a modern, European-style modular system with full overlay flat panel doors. You can choose wood plank floors for a traditional look, or concrete floors with integral color for an updated look. Whether your farmhouse kitchen leans towards traditional or trendy, a limestone, marble, concrete or quartz-based counter top will work perfectly. To keep a contemporary farmhouse kitchen from feeling too sterile or modern, plaster ceilings with distressed or reclaimed beams and wood or casement windows lend a rustic, natural feel. Use whites and neutral wall and cabinet colors to provide the perfect backdrop, and then enhance the space with colorful décor.
Now, we come to the French Provencal remodeling kitchen. These kitchens celebrate the rustic beauty of the South of France. Casual and comfortable, these kitchens are the focal point of the home and feature rough-hewn textures, rustic elements and natural colors. It is recommended to use off-whites to pale yellows for walls and ceiling, and bolder colors such as French blue for cabinets, doors or built-ins. For authentic floors, use wood planks that are distressed or aged, preferably French oak. Limestone or terra cotta tiles are also popular. Add warmth and charm with tasteful details, such as plaster ceilings with distressed or reclaimed beams, brass or iron fixtures with simple designs and French oak raised panel inlay cabinets topped with limestone or marble slabs. Wood casement windows with divided lights and solid brass cremone bolts, which are a type of decorative hardware used as a locking device to fasten a pair of swinging windows or casement windows, are the most authentic choice.

How To Use Decorative Rugs In Your Home


Decorating your home with a rug makes it livelier and inviting. There are many things to take into consideration when choosing the correct rug in order to decorate your home. The patterns and colors play an essential role but also important is the size and the material.
Your personal choice has a lot to add but blending the interior design of the house by including a rug needs to be in such a way as to provide a nice visual effect of the whole surrounding.
The rug can be used as decor all over the house; indoors, outdoors, in the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the hallway and many other areas in the home.
Where ever you are using the rug, you need to determine what effect or impression the room should display with the use of the rug.
If you want the rug to be the focal point; then putting a rug with bold, bright and contrasting colors can bring attention to the rug to anyone walking inside the room.
You can also use the rug in order to define a certain furniture or set of furniture. In such instances, the rug should be large enough so as to define a small island where the furniture is placed.
You can also use a rug in order to enhance a room color. This can be done by selecting a rug that is of the same color as the dominant color in the room. You may also use contrast by selecting a rug with color that is contrasting to the color of the room. A rug with warm, neutral color adds a sense of warmth and texture to a room.
The rug should be of the correct size so after determining the purpose or effect that you want the rug to give in a room, you will need to determine the correct size for the room in which you want the rug to be.
Determining the size requires just a few measurements. Some rooms may require the rug to cover the whole area of the floor others such as when defining a group of furniture need only cover a portion of the room but has to be big enough in order to make an impact.
If you have furniture such as a couch surrounding the area where you want to place the rug, the rug should cover the area and fit under the feet of the couch.
Wool is often a good material for decorating with rugs. Besides giving a nice feel underfoot, wool is very durable and resistant to dust mites. For a more warm option, cotton rugs can be used as they are quite good and sometimes can also keep the room warm.
Whatever choice of rug that you make, taking into consideration the size of the room the material as well as the color and pattern of the rug in such a way for them to blend with the design and furniture of the room should provide you with great visual effect and very nice rooms.