Category Archives for "Home Craft Articles"

Modern Electric Fireplaces – Majestic and Crafty Addition of your Room

electric modern fireplace

A new modern fireplace is a wonderful addition to any room.

Whether you are looking to add a majestic fireplace to a room or a cozy location where you can relax and warm up next to a fire, an electric fireplace may be the ideal solution for you.

Additionally, electric fireplaces are made to be used year round.

On a warm evening you can simply turn on the flame, without the heat, so you can enjoy the glow of the fire while relaxing after long day.

However, if the evening temperature cool off, turn on the heat option to add warmth to you room.

These heat controls can produce enough to either warm up you toes or heat up a 400 square foot area to a comfortable temperature, and since electric fireplaces require no venting you can add your fireplace to tricky areas, such as basements and dens.

modern electric fireplaces

Electric Fireplace Benefits

  1. Fire with or without heat
  2. Little to no installation is required
  3. Glass that remains cool to the touch
  4. Control the speed and look of the flame
  5. Portability
  6. Little maintenance
  7. Low operating costs

Modern Fireplaces provide customers with both the feel and warmth of a real fireplace, but offer many more benefits.

With the variety of styles that these fireplaces come in you are able to create either a feel of a beautiful traditional fireplace or add a sleek stylish design of a Euro-modern fireplace.

Some are wall-mounted. This kind of fireplaces are becoming popular. If you are thinking about the best wall mount electric fireplace for your comfy zone you need to know about the things to be considered before buying.

Electric fireplaces

Electric fireplaces offer a contemporary or traditional style to any home.

These fireplaces mimic a coal, wood or natural gas burning fireplace, and can be used in place of a conventional fireplace.

Additionally, with realistic fire technology these units can offer you an incredible fireplace surrounding with or without heat.

The Fireplace That Can Be Placed Anywhere

electric_fireplace_modernAdditional to the realist beauty of a fireplace, an electric fireplace offers you the convenience and portability of any household appliance.

Electric fireplaces are designed to handle any location that may be unreachable by a traditional fireplace.

Since electric fireplace require no venting you can easily add them to any basement or den.

  • Electric Fireplace Styles
  • Euro-Modern Style

Euro-modern electric fireplaces use angular lines and unique shapes to add style to any modern setting or location.

The features included in this style may include, frosted glass beads as opposed to logs or adjustable fire shades in pink, blue and red.

The euro-modern style electric fireplace is a unique style that can benefit your home.

Traditional Style

Traditional electric fireplaces use mimic materials to enhance the style of these fireplaces.

By using mimic wood or coal, these fireplaces offer a comforting feel to a basement, den or living room.

Additionally, these units can be free standing wood stoves or fireplace inserts to customize any style.

Features

Electric fireplaces offer high quality craftsmanship and superior flame technology, but they offer many other features to promote safety, convenience, style and comfort.

These features include :

(1) remote control and wall thermostats to turn on/off, adjust heat or flame strength and set on/off timers from anywhere in the room,

(2) glass door kits that are cool to the touch and overheat protection so you can maintain a comfort in the safety of your system,

(3) mantels and surroundings in stone, hardwood or custom installations, that will customize your style for your room, and

(4) the fireplaces themselves are available in stainless steel, black, brass, chrome, white, or cast iron, to match your current home decor.

Electric Media Fireplace Furniture

Electric Media Fireplace

Electric Media Fireplace Do Exist!

The only time I visibly squealed in a store in public was a few months ago. I was standing in the middle of Big Lots admiring their fireplaces when I noticed that one said “Electric Media Fireplace Center”. I didn’t know that it existed until then or that you could even have a TV close to heat.

 

Why I Need One & So Do You!

I spend a lot of the winter months sitting close to a space heater. Then I turn it off and go about my business until I get cold again. I figure I could at least be watching TV during this time. Some manufacturers do say that putting electronics on top may be a problem even though it’s made for a TV. I also like that the glass is supposed to stay cool on the fireplace because I accidentally burned my hand on the glass of a gas fireplace though. The biggest downside I can see is that the flame might look a little bit “cheesy” or fake. However, it has to be better looking than that space heater I’ve been sitting in front of.

Pros & Cons of an Electric Fireplace Media Console

I was so excited as to be embarrassed in public just because it solves multiple problems. I really want some kind of a fireplace to lay in front of in the winter like I was used to growing up but I live in an apartment and they usually aren’t too keen on tenants building in fireplaces. However, I would also have competing focal points on one wall because there’s only one spot to put my TV. Plus, I want my apartment to have a little bit of detail and character to it and this gives the feeling of added architecture.

I decided to wait and shop online. I also wanted to see if they would go on clearance in the summer. I wasn’t thrilled with the cheap fake oak versions at Big Lots and wanted something with more storage. It seems like in the summer months at least at Amazon it’s about 30-40% off of what it was when I checked in the winter just in general. There are also more styles and price points to choose from.

Remember that you’ll need room for your components too. This might be open bookshelves or closed doors. You also need a shelf between the TV and the fireplace to hold DVD players.

High and Low End Models

Media Fireplace

Always check the weight requirements and how deep it is to ensure that your TV will fit. Remember that you’re going to need space for other components too. This is why I gravitate more towards the expensive entertainment set look. I find that it looks more like a built in when it has bookshelves on either side of it.

A pretty inexpensive brand seems to be Stone gate. You can find many versions for under $300. Check the BTUs because this probably won’t heat a whole house. The descriptions tell you how many square feet it can heat. It’s usually around 400 square feet. If you like the idea of zone heating or you’re just in one room throughout the day this saves you the cost of heating the entire house. I mostly just want it because I’m cold all of the time. So whether you have a few hundred to spend or a thousand there are many options to choose from. I find that the more oversize it is the more it will feel like a built-in. Narrow looks are great for solid black or espresso pieces where you want a pretty modern look. Corner units will usually be a little bit cheaper too.

Fireplace Media Center Styles for Every Room

Sure, most people have the same black or silver flat screen TV and the same gaming consoles. That doesn’t mean that your room has to feel overly modern. I love how this takes the same TV that everyone has and can give it a French Country or farmhouse vibe. You can always stick with black finishes and smoked glass shelves to keep it sleek and contemporary. For the French style consider something like an Antebellum style with a shutter type of doors and a distressed painted finish or weathered wood.

A big reason that I skipped the Big Lots purchase was that it looked more like a portable one than a built in. The SEI Cartwright line is successful at this with more of a tile or faux slate look. This works well for a country theme but the neutral colors make it suitable for any type of theme.

Lift Cabinets: Techy Electric Fireplace TV Stands

You might want a little bit more versatility. I recommend this style if you aren’t a big TV watcher or if you don’t have a formal living room for entertaining. When guests are over you can just press a button and the TV basically disappears. I watch too much TV for the added expense to be worth it.

So is this going to be a big energy hog? Some descriptions say that it isn’t going to use any more than a coffee maker.

I also love this look because it’s portable. That means that while it might be part of my living room now, someday I might use it in a bedroom if I live in a house with a “real” fireplace. If you’re short on space like me or just hate how modern your TV is then considering a fireplace, media center, and bookshelf all in one!

Know more about Modern Electric Fireplace .

Top 10 Tips When Selecting Fabric for Slipcovers

fabric for slipcover

 

How Do I Know What Fabric to Pick for My Slipcovers?

Do you easily become overwhelmed with a large selection of fabric for slipcovers?

Unless you have narrowed your focus on what exactly you are looking for, the vast fabric selections available can be a bit daunting and can overwhelm you. If this is how you feel I know for a fact that you are not alone.

I have worked with clients for over 20 years and many have depended on me to help them narrow their selections down.

So if you are not one that likes to look through rolls and rolls of fabrics or books and books of fabric samples then I am here to help.

In this lens I will give you 10 quick tips on what to look for and to consider when you are trying to decide which fabric is the best for your slipcovers.

Recovering your furniture, whether you are slipcovering or re-upholstering is a large investment of your money and you want to make the right decision. After all you are hoping to live with this decision for a few years.

Answer each of these questions and it will help to narrow your selection, fine tune your focus and save you lots of time and money when you are trying to make your decision.

First and foremost enjoy this process. It’s intended to bring you joy with your surroundings and finishing’s in your home. it’s not intended to frustrate you. If this process does bring frustration then check for a local contractor to help guide you. You may be surprised with how much free advice you may receive.

I have been working in the home décor sewing industry for over 30 years and I enjoy helping others with fabric decisions by passing along free advice and suggestions. If you should have any additional questions from this info please feel free to contact me.

1. What Piece of Furniture Will I Be Covering?

What piece of furniture are you covering? That may have a significance in the decision making of the type of fabric you purchase.

Are you covering a piece of furniture that is a focal point? Then maybe a large print will do and add enough fabric to introduce accent pillows.

Are you covering an accent piece of furniture? How about a mini print? How about a solid colored fabric? You could also select a large print and centering the main pattern.

Take these into consideration when going through your decision making process. If it’s easier, start with process of elimination. What you know you absolutely will not use.

2. What’s the Style of My Room?

First and foremost consider the style of room you are purchasing fabric for.

Is the fabric in keeping with your room décor?

If you aren’t sure what fabric style goes with what room style you have, then do a little research.

**Food for thought: Would silk fabric fit into a room full of rustic pine furniture; does denim fit a room full of antiques? May sound silly for some but not for those who truly struggle with this.

3. Do I Want My Fabric To Be Print or Solid?

slipcovers fabric

When considering fabric to slipcover a piece of furniture first keep in mind the style of your room and where in the room the fabric will be used. This will help you to decide what type of pattern you may choose.

If you are leaning towards a large print you may want to use it on a smaller piece of furniture as an accent. Consider adding a few throw pillows out of the same fabric to your sofa, or another focal piece.

The large print on a large piece of furniture may become overpowering and you may grow tired of it quickly.

Which leads to the next tip to consider in making your fabric decision.

4. Will I Be Able To Live With This Fabric for Slipcovers?

This may seem like an obvious Q &A, but you may be surprised that sometimes our minds play tricks on us when comparing a piece of fabric vs. the memory of your room.

I would encourage you to first purchase a yard of fabric, take it home, throw it out on your furniture and live with it for a while before making your final selection.

An investment of a yard of fabric is much more economical to find out if you can live with this selection than to invest in your total amount, get it home and decide it isn’t really going to work after all.

5. Will My Fabric Selection Keep My Original Cover From Showing Thru?

This tends to be a general concern especially when your original cover on your furniture is dark fabric and you’re ready to lighten up.

I will repeat this tip again and again to drive the point home but I always recommend to buy a yard of the fabric being considered. Live with it on your furniture for a couple of days to see if it will indeed hide the old cover in addition to checking how well it covers in the different light settings of the room.

If it doesn’t cover then consider having the slipcover interfaced which will increase the labor cost or just throw an old sheet over your furniture under the slipcover. It may not sound attractive but it’s cost effective and you aren’t going to see it anyway. The sheet should hold it’s shape once the fitted slipcover is on it.

6. Will This Fabric Coordinate With the Other Fabric In My Room?

fabric for slipcovers

The general rule of thumb to create continuity in your room if you are using a large print with a large pattern repeat of 13″ or more, is to introduce your print a minimum of three times in your room.

A few examples to consider are your windows, a small accent piece of furniture, a cushion, floor cushions, throw pillows or maybe a footstool.

What else can you come up with?

Another consideration when using prints is to introduce one to two coordinating pieces in the room. This will also help in creating continuity into your room decor.

7. When Using a Monochromatic Theme, Use Lots of Texture

slipcover fabric

If using a monochromatic theme in your room then I would encourage you to use different textured pieces of fabrics.

Allow the texture to rule the room. There is no limit as to how many different pieces of fabric to introduce.

8. Is This Fabric Durable Enough For the Use of My Furniture?

Does your fabric need to be durable?

If your furniture to be slipcovered sees a lot of traffic and wear then definetly lean to a durable fabric that will hold up under the stress for a longer period of time.

I never recommend using a light weight cotton (dress/craft weight) but there are always exceptions to the rule.

So consider wisely how durable you will need your fabric.

9. Is the Fabric Washable?

Do you have pets or children? Then you may want your fabric washable.

Several people select slipcovering over re-upholstering for the simple option of having a removable and washable cover.

Keep in mind the fiber content of your choices when shopping for your fabric. If you aren’t sure what to look for always ask a sales clerk for help. Any clerk working in a fabric dept should be knowledgeable of the product. If your still not sure I offer free advice, feel free to contact me with your questions.

**Helpful Tip: When washing your slipcovers, do not allow them to completely dry. Leave the covers slightly damp and replace it back onto your furniture. This will allow the slightly damp covers to stretch and conform back to the furniture’s shape. If you allow your slipcover to dry completely before putting them back on your furniture you run the risk of too much shrinkage and never fitting properly again.

10. Should I Consult with a Contractor?

Ultimately in the end the choice of fabric is yours. You are the expert in what you like. You will be living with the fabric. Not your friend, not your contractor, not your decorator.

But if you have a contractor you are using I encourage you to take advantage of their knowledge on the topic before making your final decision. Allow your contractor to share their suggestions and advice from their years of experience.

As a contractor myself, I’m always glad to make suggestions, to coach my clients with selections or answer any questions when trying to make their decisions. But in the end you have final say.

Never let anyone else make that final decision for you. Listen to you and trust it. But remember, you can’t take the fabric back if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected it to look so take your time in making this decision. It’s one you will probably live with for some time.

I can’t stress it enough, if there is any question buy a yard or two and live with it for a while, It would be more cost effective to loose a few dollars on those few yards than hundreds of dollars on both fabric and labor of your slipcover.

Share Your Fabric Shopping Experiences.
Let’s hear your funny, scary, overwhelming, best bargain fabric shopping stories.

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Quick Last Minute Easter Bunny Craft

easter bunny

Looking for a quick last minute craft to do with the kids today for Easter? I have a good one for you! I made these yesterday with my 4 year old son’s preschool class and they turned out so cute I thought I’d share them with you!

 

Easter Bunny CD Magnet

Supplies

  • 1 CD (when burning CD’s or DVD’s I save the ones that fail or do not work properly I had pretty good stash)
  • CD Labels
  • White and pink foam sheets
  • Google eyes
  • Magnetic tape (self sticking)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

Directions :

  • Cover the CD with a white CD label
  • Cut out a set of white ears, pink ear insides and a nose from the foam
  • Glue eyes, nose and ears onto the CD
  • Draw whiskers and a mouth onto the face
  • Stick magnet to the back of the CD
  • Hang up and enjoy!