Tuscan Style Decorating Ideas

Written by Jill Kane

Earthy colors and natural materials are two basics forrepparttar “old world” style of decorating. To get an idea ofrepparttar 118022 colors we’re talking about, go for a walk outside and take notice ofrepparttar 118023 beautiful colors around you,repparttar 118024 blue sky,repparttar 118025 golden sun, evenrepparttar 118026 chocolate brown of mud inrepparttar 118027 springtime. Ok, so you don’t have a view ofrepparttar 118028 blue/green Mediterranean Sea but you’ve seen pictures of it haven’t you? On that walk, stroll throughrepparttar 118029 produce department of your local grocery store and noterepparttar 118030 dark purple eggplants,repparttar 118031 red peppers, yellow lemons, green olives. These are some ofrepparttar 118032 colors you’ll want to consider for your Tuscany decorating. Natural materials will include wood (think rustic, sturdy type furniture), tile (colorful ceramic for wall accents) natural stone for flooring and unpolished metals such as copper, tin, or pewter for accents.

You probably already have some Tuscan influences in your home. Iron scrollwork brackets, terra cotta planters (more about these later), fruit themed artwork, colorful pottery, copper, tin, pewter items, tapestry wall hangings – what was old is new again! Check your garage, attic or flea markets for some of these items.

What could be simpler than lining a sunny windowsill with some pretty little terra cotta pots with Italian herbs (oregano, basil, sage, etc.)? Do you have a section of old wrought iron railing that once graced your front porch? Bring it in, clean it up and get creative. Maybe you could use it for a pot hanger inrepparttar 118033 kitchen or hang it onrepparttar 118034 wall for a decorative accent inrepparttar 118035 family room. How about that old leather trimmed trunk? It may make a great coffee table or storage area. Since colorful tile work is essential forrepparttar 118036 Tuscan style, how about making your own mosaic masterpiece? Just break up a few pieces of old china, (use safety goggles), apply it with tile adhesive to a terra cotta planter, old vase or whatever you choose, let it dry for 24 hours, grout it and wipe down with a damp sponge.

Spring Chores at the Cabin

Written by Elly Kendall

Whether you live in your cabin year round or it's been closed up forrepparttar winter, it's time for spring cleaning. It's hard to get motivated. We'd all rather be out playing inrepparttar 118021 sun and enjoyingrepparttar 118022 spring afterrepparttar 118023 long cold winter. I thought I would share my "to do" list and some helpful tips to get you started so we can both getrepparttar 118024 chores done.

I like to start with my fireplace. Hiring a local chimney sweep is not always possible in very rural areas such as we live. I have a heavy 25' chain that works very well. Fromrepparttar 118025 roof I removerepparttar 118026 spark arrester then slowly drop one end ofrepparttar 118027 chain downrepparttar 118028 chimney, holding ontorepparttar 118029 other end. Slowly rotaterepparttar 118030 chain so it rubs firmly againstrepparttar 118031 inside ofrepparttar 118032 chimney. Keep swirlingrepparttar 118033 chain for several minutes, pull outrepparttar 118034 chain, cleanrepparttar 118035 spark arrester with a soft brush and replacerepparttar 118036 arrester. Keep in mind 2 things: 1. make surerepparttar 118037 pitch of your roof is safe to stand on and 2. Your chimney must be straight with no elbows for this technique to work. Ifrepparttar 118038 pipe has an elbow userepparttar 118039 chain technique then disconnectrepparttar 118040 pipe atrepparttar 118041 elbow to clean it with a wire brush and removerepparttar 118042 ash and pitch. Reattachrepparttar 118043 pipe. All that's left is to cleanrepparttar 118044 inside ofrepparttar 118045 fireplace or wood stove, remove allrepparttar 118046 ash and pitch residue that has dropped fromrepparttar 118047 chimney cleaning. I use oven cleaner, a Teflon scrubby then window cleaner onrepparttar 118048 heat tempered glass whenrepparttar 118049 pitch has built up that awful amber film. My wood stove gets a new coat of black stove polish too.

Now thatrepparttar 118050 fireplace and wood stove are clean and allrepparttar 118051 ash has settled I dust and vacuumrepparttar 118052 entire cabin thoroughly. I use lemon oil on my log walls and a small pan of water stays on my wood stove to put some moisture back intorepparttar 118053 dry air from wood heat. Next I tacklerepparttar 118054 windows.

Okay, so everyone knows how to cleanrepparttar 118055 windows but don't forgetrepparttar 118056 window runners, check for any leaking that may have occurred duringrepparttar 118057 winter and clean allrepparttar 118058 window treatments. Drapes, curtains, louvered blinds, cornices, screens and sunscreens all get a thorough cleaning. It's a good days work just on windows but it's worth it as I love to open my blinds and enjoyrepparttar 118059 beautiful spring sunshine and blooming flowers.

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