Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Potentials of Plastic Lumber

You may have seen plastic lumber furniture before. However, if you've ever wondered whether it is worth your time and money, hopefully this article can help you make the choice.

If you feel like you have to see these products for yourself, companies such as Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego offer a variety of plastic lumber furniture pieces which you can see and test before you decide to purchase.
What’s It Made of?
This material can be made from recycled or new plastics. Naturally, it is more environmentally friendly if recycled plastic is used. There are many types of plastics which can be recycled into plastic lumber. Ranging from standard polyethylene and PVC, all the way to polystyrene and PP. There are recycling companies solely devoted to recycling plastics in order to prepare them for use in plastic lumber manufacturing.
How It’s Made
The material used for production is typically in the form of small pellets. This material is then heated to 400°F, which is about 200°C. Various additives are added to the base material to ensure the consistent color, strength, durability and other factors are consistent. With modern equipment, companies can now determine the right proportion of chemicals and additives to achieve the wanted properties even before they cast a single block of plastic lumber. Once the mixing is complete, the mass is extruded into pieces which can be used for furniture production or any other intended use. Molds can simulate wood patterns on the pieces if necessary.


What Are Its Applications?
There are a variety of uses for these lumber substitutes. However, due to their properties, they are most commonly used for outdoor decks, railings, and fences. Some communities have substituted their wooden park benches with these durable materials. When it comes to residential use, a variety of door and window frames can be made to simulate wooden ones, with the extra durability of plastics.

Another major application for plastic lumber is patio furniture, replacing the wicker and wood as the preferred material for these applications. When you consider the properties of the material, it is not difficult to understand why.
Advantages over Wood
The primary advantage of plastic lumber over natural wood is its durability. Some companies are offering as many as 20 years of guarantee on their products. Furthermore, this material is resistant to splintering and chipping, unlike natural wood. It also doesn’t require much maintenance. With wooden furniture, you need to prime and paint it every so often. Plastic lumber does not require any kind of painting since it already comes in a variety of fade-protected colors. What’s more, it is resistant to any kind of insect or mold and rot infestations, unlike its natural counterpart.

Downsides
Despite the numerous advantages plastic lumber has over natural wood, this material is not perfect. It does have some downsides. For one, it is susceptible to permanent deformation under sustained heavy loads, the so-called creep.

Furthermore, the flexural strength of the material is lower than wood, meaning it is more likely to break under significant pressure. Various composite materials, such as fiberglass-reinforced plastic lumber tend to fix this problem, though.The Future of Plastic Lumber
When it originally appeared, it was lauded by environmentalists as a potentially game-changing material, but it was largely ignored by the construction companies as a serious contender. However, things are changing rapidly, and plastic lumber is slowly but surely gaining a foothold in the construction industry. The fact that it can be worked with regular woodworking tools is a big plus with construction companies since no further investment into equipment is necessary to start incorporating it into their portfolios.

Plastic lumber has a twofold positive effect on the environment. Fewer trees need to be felled for the production of lumber and all that waste plastic doesn’t end up in the landfill but is recycled and repurposed. If you are looking for ways to help nature, consider plastic lumber as a potential win-win. Till next time...go green and check out the potentials of plastic lumber!

xox
Rani
IMAGES FROM SKYLAR'S HOME & PATIO FURNITURE

About Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego 
Skylar’s Home and Patio is the leading home furniture store in San Diego founded in 2010. The company aims to create a comfortable living space both inside and outside of your home. Skylar’s is a family-owned, local business with strong ties to the San Diego community.

Get in touch with Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego at:
9160 Kearny Villa Ct, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
858-939-1360

Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego
Skylar
s Home and Patio is the leading home furniture store in San Diego found
ed in 2010. The company
aims to create a comfortable living space both inside and outside of yo
ur home. Skylar
s is a family-
owned, local business with strong ties to the San Diego community.
Get in touch with Skylar's Home & Patio Furniture San Diego
at
:
9160 Kearny Villa Ct, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
858
-
939
-
1360

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Cosy Up with a Gas Log Fire!

During the chilly winter months, there is nothing cosier than snuggling in front of a flickering flame of an open fire! A fireplace can make a dramatic difference to the interiors of any home. It creates warmth and comfort in a space while adding elegance, beauty and ambience. However, with the ever-increasing popularity of fireplaces these days and various designs and styles offered to you by different suppliers, it can be tough choosing just one particular style.

Today, we're taking a look at gas log fireplaces that look beautiful and realistic without the usual hassles of an open fire.

Considerations for Choosing a Fireplace

Purpose
You need to decide why you need this fireplace - is it only for the ambience or are you looking for a source of heat and warmth in the cold winter months?
For heating purposes, you need to opt for a fireplace which provides equal distribution of heat. With a gas log fireplace, you can keep your room warm during the winter while regulating the temperature of the fireplace according to your convenience.

Costs of Energy
Considering this cost before you opt for a specific fireplace is very important as this can determine how much you will be spending on the running and the maintenance of a fireplace. For gas log fireplaces, you can save on power consumption costs while being environmentally friendly. What are the benefits of installing gas log fireplaces?
Gas logs fireplaces tend to be a perfect choice for all those homeowners love a bit of drama sans the hassles! So if you are looking for a wood-burning fire place which enhances the design of your home without the cost and efforts of daily maintenance, gas log fireplaces could be the best option. Also as there are multiple design options available, you could be spoilt for choice!

#1. Beauty and Practicality
Gas log fireplaces are high on the scale for beauty and practicality. You have a choice between rocks, quartz, coal or ceramic logs all of which look as realistic as possible. The media of the flame can be simulated or even real. You can also choose between the different finishes of glass fronts.

#2. Lesser Emissions
With multiple gas log fireplace options available you can pick and choose the one which produces fewer emissions. They tend to produce emissions which are almost 40% lower as compared to firewood. There are no harmful particles emitted with gas log fires. These are ideal for all those who are suffering from allergic conditions and also those who would like to be kinder to the environment.
#3. Easy Operations 
Unlike traditional wood fire fireplaces where you are required to arrange for logs which are cut and dried, gas log fireplaces can be turned on and off in an instant. You can easily regulate the flame or the temperature of the fireplace according to your needs making them very easy to operate.

#4. Hassle Free
Gas logs do not leave a mess so there is virtually no clean-up required. There is no soot and ash to be cleaned up. There is no involvement of shovels, buckets or brushes. You can use this fireplace for a long time and you do not need to pay any additional cost for maintaining these fireplaces. However like with everything, maintenance is important for effective operation, so ensure that the fireplace is cleaned and adjusted annually by a professional to ensure safe and efficient operation.

#5. Safety
With gas log fireplaces, there is no buildup of harmful materials which are flammable. These also get rid of the possibility of any stray flying sparks, which is quite common with wood fireplaces. Though this works out to be a safe choice it is advisable to get detailed advice from experts prior to any installation. This can ensure that you make the right choice among the many available. However, do your homework before you decide on a supplier. Look for reputation and experience in the installation of gas log fireplaces by your supplier of choice.
Do you have a fireplace at home? Which one do you have or which do you prefer?

Till next time... cosy up in front of a lovely gas log fire this winter!


About Frankston Heating
Frankston Heating are gas heater specialist in Melbourne with 40 years of industry experience and highly knowledgeable about all installation techniques which also includes gas plumbing. If you need premium gas log fire to fit out your home or gas heating services you can visit their website and contact them for a free consultation for your requirements.

Friday, 14 July 2017

A Magical Yulefest With Balsam Hill & A Giveaway!

Ever heard of a celebration called Yulefest or Christmas in July? Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is a special time. It's cold, frosty and the perfect Christmassy weather to get together with friends and family and indulge in traditional roasts and puddings! But just for the record, Christmas in July does not replace the real Christmas in December. Think of it as a bonus celebration without the usual stress and pressure of the festive season!

For me, any excuse to celebrate with friends and family is a good one! And this year, Christmas in July in our household was made extra special with the help of an exquisite Silverado Slim Christmas Tree, an equally beautiful Heritage Spice wreath and a set of stunning nativity Christmas ornaments from Balsam Hill Australia.We decided to set up the gorgeous 7 feet Christmas tree in our dining room. The pre-lit LED tree came well packaged in three sections and was so easy to assemble. Each section was clearly labelled so it took less than ten minutes to put together and plug in the light ports at the back. There were two pairs of gloves in the box that were very helpful for fluffing the tree. (I especially loved how there were two sets of gloves to make it a family affair!) The box also included a handy protective storage bag for when you have to pack the tree away. It was so much fun to fluff the tree as a family, plug it in and sit back and enjoy the twinkling lights! We've never had a pre-lit tree before, so this was a real novelty and it was fun to hear Elie exclaim 'wow' every time the tree was switched on!

Our pre-lit Silverado Slim Christmas tree really didn't need too much embellishment or ornaments since it's so elegant just by itself! The vintage inspired red and gold set of 9 Christmas Cheer Nativity Ornaments from Balsam Hill with hand painted details were perfect for the tree. I hung them along with a few of my glass ornaments and a pair of gold wings for the top to give our Yulefest tree a slightly personalised and quirky touch! I definitely recommend the Balsam Hill™ 7 feet Silverdo Slim if you are shopping for a Christmas tree! It's slim enough to fit in narrow spaces like entryways and hallways or even small living rooms and dining spaces. But on the other hand it's a much fuller tree compared to the other 'slim' Balsam Hill trees with a lush profile and luxurious True Needle™ foliage that have an ultra realistic feel! Moreover, it's a tall tree which looks statuesque and festive and fits in rooms with normal to high ceilings. Also, other than the pre-lit clear LEDs, the Silverado Slim tree has two other versions - an unlit option and a multi-coloured version. The pre-lit Heritage Spice Wreath is an exquisite work of art! The wreath is full-bodied with ultra-realistic foliage laden with pinecones, apples, berries, pomegranates, and cinnamon sticks. It looks so realistic, I could almost smell the spices! The wreath with pops of red and green perfectly complemented the red and gold Christmas nativity ornaments on the tree.However, instead of hanging the wreath on our front door like we usually do for our formal Christmas in December, I decided to dress the table with it. I'd invited a couple of my girlfriends over with their little loves for a Christmas in July lunch and I wanted to create a pretty table setting. The 24" wreath was perfect to set in the middle of the table with dinner candles, gold accessories and tableware for this special occasion!At night, when the house is quiet, the beautiful Silverado tree with pretty nativity ornaments glistening in the twinkling lights casts a magical glow. It's a truly special tree and it made our Yulefest doubly special this year!

To help you celebrate Yulefest in style, Balsam Hill Australia have a special giveaway! Happy Yulefest Everyone!

Celebrate Christmas in July with Balsam Hill Australia! 
From July 12 to 20, visit their Facebook page and join the Yulefest 2017 Giveaway for a chance to win $75 worth of Balsam Hill Australia Gift Certificates!Do you celebrate Christmas in July? If you would like to decorate your home with exquisite décor from Balsam Hill make sure to enter their giveaway!

Till next time... have a wonderful Christmas in July!

xox
Rani
INSTALLED & STYLED BY ME
IMAGE CREDITS: PAULA ANDREWS PHOTOGRAPHY | LA MAISON JOLIE


This post was created in collaboration with Balsam Hill Australia. Thanks again to Balsam Hill for providing me with the exquisite Silverado Slim Christmas Tree, the perfect festive wreath and the set of nativity ornaments. As always, all design choices, thoughts and opinions are all mine and genuine and I only ever work with brands that I love and I think you will too. 

Also a big thank you to talented photographer Paula Andrews for the beautiful photographs. You can check out more of her amazing work here

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Step-by-Step Guide To Building Your Own Fire Pit

It's no secret that Australians love their backyards. Apart from the kitchen, the backyard is the heart and soul of an Aussie home and it is used to the fullest in summers and also in the cold winter months.

However in winter, functional and aesthetic backyard fire pits are becoming increasingly popular to utilise outdoor spaces. Essentially, a fire pit is the new water feature; it’s a great addition to the backyard, transforming the outdoor area into a cosy and inviting space - perfect for those chilly winter evenings.

So today we have landscape expert, Jason Hodges from Better Homes & Gardens and brand ambassador for Adbri Masonry, showing us how to build our very own fire pit to make the most of our gardens and backyards in the winter months.

“The ambience a fire pit brings is worth the investment alone, providing an enjoyable feature for the garden and a natural gathering spot for socialising and entertaining. It’s a great focal point, I like to describe it as nature’s TV and people are naturally drawn to the campfire-like atmosphere,” explains landscape expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, Jason Hodges.

So here's a simple step-by-step DIY guide by Jason Hodges to build your very own fire pit:

What you need
- AB® Courtyard York Blocks x 56 - AB® Courtyard Caps x 28
- Tube of Masonry Adhesive x 2 - Metal Fire Ring (opt) x 1
- 20kg Bags of Crushed Rock x 10 - 20kg Bags of Decorative Rock (opt) x 6


Excavation
After you determine the location of your fire pit, you will need to excavate the area. Lay the first course of Adbri AB® Courtyard York blocks so you can mark the location of where the blocks will be. Remove the blocks and dig a level trench 75mm deep and 178mm wide or excavate the full circle.

Creating The Foundation
Fill the trench with a weak mix of sand and cement, about 6:1 (6 parts sand and 1 part cement). Take your time to ensure the foundation is level. Place 4 x AB® Courtyard blocks at the cross points of the circle and use a straight 2x4 and a level to check the entire trench is level. Make adjustments by adding or removing the sand and cement screed.

Laying The First Course
Place the base course of blocks on the foundation pad, check the levelling each time a few blocks are laid to ensure that they are all level from front to back and side to side before placing the next block. This will ensure a level base course.

Second Course
Stack the next course of blocks, making adjustments as necessary. Once installed, remove sod/vegetation from the centre of the fire pit area. Lay approx. 6 x 23 kg bags of clean rock within the circle to cover the bottom of the fire pit. Then using a shovel, rake smooth.

Finish With Wall Caps
Place AB® Courtyard Caps on top of the fire pit, securing them with a tube of masonry adhesive.

Finishing Touches
Install decorative rock to line the interior of the pit. Place a steel bowl or metal fire ring in the centre to contain the flames and get the marshmallows ready.

Watch the full DIY instructional video below.


What a quick and simple DIY! And not to mention a fire pit will mean hours of campfire fun for the kids and a fabulous place to lounge by with friends and family and enjoy a glass of wine!
Do you have a fire pit in your backyard? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... get your backyard winter ready!



About Adbri Ambassador Jason Hodges
Jason Hodges is Australia’s well-loved celebrity landscaper, most notably seen on the Channel Seven lifestyle TV show Better Homes and Gardens. Jason and his Greenart Gardens team won The Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious Comeadow Award at the Melbourne International Flower And Garden Show (MIFGS 2013), with their entry of an inviting entertainment space, complete with an alfresco kitchen, dining area, and an edible landscape of vegetables and herbs. Jason is also a brand ambassador for Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer Adbri Masonry.

About Adbri Masonry
Adbri Masonry is Australia’s leading masonry manufacturer supplying quality concrete bricks, blocks, pavers, retaining walls, erosion control products, architectural masonry solutions and reconstituted stone veneers throughout Australia’s East Coast, South Australia and Tasmania. To talk to an Adbri Masonry representative, please call 1300 365 565, or for more information please visit www.adbrimasonry.com.au.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Top Ten Fancy Spaces That Make You Go WOW!

So I was on Pinterest as one usually is in the middle of the night and I came across these stop you in the tracks, smack you on the head, shut the door kind of gorgeous interior spaces that make you shout WOW!

Shared below are my top ten favourite fancy rooms. The common factor? Every room has a standout piece incorporated into the interior design that makes the space unforgettable. Can you guess what they are?










Did you too think that these spaces are swoonworthy? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... anything that caught your fancy?

Monday, 3 July 2017

House Envy: Living The Californian Dream with Serena Mitnik-Miller!

Today we're taking a wander into General Store founder and owner Serena Mitnik-Miller's cabin turned stunning family home. Serena's home is as beautifully designed and curated as her lifestyle boutique General Store.

With minimalism and simplicity playing an important role in this little cabin, every nook has been thoughtfully and lovingly decorated. From the gorgeous white washed wooden walls, the bespoke furniture pieces, accessories that add texture, abundant use of ply, natural fabrics and materials and the mini indoor garden in the living room, this homestead in the hills of Topanga in Los Angeles is a true beauty and I'm white with envy!

Every room is a designer's dream and the styling is so en pointe! Have a peek around and see if you too get a serious case of house envy!So what you think? Does this home make you want to run for the hills and live the Californian dream?

What do you love most about this perfect cottage surrounded by the hauntingly beautiful wilderness of the Topanga Canyon? Share with us in the comments below.

Till next time... I'm loving the clever and brilliant use of ply in almost every room! 
IMAGES SOURCED FROM DOMINO MAGAZINE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON FRANK ROTHENBERG
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