It's Spring! Let's Decorate!

Written by Victoria Azusa Lockwood

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Think ofrepparttar room or space you are decorating as a human body. (This analogy isn’t new, or particularly brilliant, but helps to illustraterepparttar 100152 point.) The human body has a basic framework or skeleton. That skeleton serves asrepparttar 100153 base upon which all else is structured and built, until finally a desirable end product is achieved inrepparttar 100154 human body form.

When decorating a space,repparttar 100155 “skeleton” consists ofrepparttar 100156 walls ofrepparttar 100157 space along withrepparttar 100158 basic pieces of furniture that have been chosen forrepparttar 100159 room. Beginning with these items, using them as your base, you continue to build your décor layer by layer, until you reach your final, desired product.

By cleverly adding accessories torepparttar 100160 basic framework of your design plans, you embellish your color scheme, and ad texture to your design so that it becomes three-dimensional. In doing so, you are able to achieve a complete and desirable transformation ofrepparttar 100161 space. The neat trick to this is that by simply changing your room color and accessories, you have created an entirely different space fromrepparttar 100162 one with which you started.

A new lamp, decorative pillows, re-framed artwork, colored vases, new fabric. All of these can be used collectively to infuse your interior decorating, bringingrepparttar 100163 different elements of your décor together. The end result is that you breathe new life into your interior design.

So welcome Spring without trepidation. Embracerepparttar 100164 opportunity to create something new and different. You never know. Other wonderful changes may follow. What are you waiting for?

Victoria Azusa Lockwood

Victoria Lockwood is a freelance writer currently focusing her talents inrepparttar 100165 areas of interior design, antiques and collectables. She has over thirty years combined experience in these areas of interest. You may email any questions to her at This article is available for reprint. If you're interested in reprinting this article, please contact Ms. Lockwood for permission and information.

Victoria Lockwood is a freelance writer currently focusing her talents in the areas of interior design, antiques and collectables. She has over thirty years combined experience in these areas of interest.

Metal Outdoor Furniture - Explained

Written by Debbie Rodgers

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Aluminum is a silvery, lightweight and easily worked metallic element that never rusts. Much ofrepparttar early aluminum furniture fromrepparttar 100151 1960s was made from hollow-core extrusion tubing. Such furniture was extremely lightweight but not exceedingly wind-stable. Such pieces are still available today and are best used around a pool area. Cast aluminum is better used in outdoor dining or sitting areas.

Whether you're looking for extruded, cast or wrought aluminum items, there are a few items that indicate a quality piece. As with wrought iron, joints should be welded (preferably full-circumference welds) rather than bolted. If bolts are used, for example to connect webbing, they should be made of aluminum or stainless steel. Otherwise they will begin to rust even thoughrepparttar 100152 main frame does not.

Best quality aluminum pieces have a powder-coated finish, which determinesrepparttar 100153 final color ofrepparttar 100154 piece andrepparttar 100155 durability ofrepparttar 100156 metal. Powder coating is a process in which colorful polyester powders are applied and then baked ontorepparttar 100157 frame.

If you're buying aluminum furniture with vinyl webbing or straps, look for vinyl that has been processed with mildew inhibitors and ultraviolet stabilizers. Any wooden pieces mounted on aluminum frames should be treated with a finish to guarantee durability.

Suntan oils, human perspiration, car exhaust and salt spray can all eat away atrepparttar 100158 powder coating on aluminum furniture. To ensure long life, clean your aluminum furniture twice a month with a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. Rinse well. You can then apply paste car wax to any smooth finish frames.

Steel, a hard tough metal, is an alloy of iron and various small percentages of metallic elements. The alloys produce hardness and resistance to rusting. Galvanized steel has been plated with zinc; stainless steel has been alloyed with chromium and is virtually immune to rust and corrosion.

Beforerepparttar 100159 production of aluminum furniture inrepparttar 100160 mid 20th century, steel furniture was common, dating from popular French-made items manufactured inrepparttar 100161 later half ofrepparttar 100162 1800s. American companies used solid steel untilrepparttar 100163 Second World War whenrepparttar 100164 heavy military demand for steel dictatedrepparttar 100165 use of lightweight tubular (hollow) steel in outdoor furniture. Vintage steel sets can still be found at flea markets.

If you're looking at modern steel furniture, be surerepparttar 100166 product is either stainless or powder-coated and that any hardware used is also rust-resistant.

Metal outdoor furniture in its many shapes and designs can be a wonderful addition to your outdoor living space. Choose wisely and enjoy!

Debbie Rodgers, the haven maven, owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Her latest how-to guide “Attracting Butterflies to Your Home and Garden” is now available on her web site. Visit her at and get a free report on “Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space”. Mail to

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