Decorating Your Home With Terrariums

A terrarium is a great way to create your own little indoor oasis. Terrariums are created using clear plastic or glass containers such as fish bowls, aquariums, large glass jars or jugs. They can be open on the top or enclosed. Terrariums that are enclosed can recycle their water, need very little attention and are good for plants that thrive in high humidity. Open terrariums are better for plants that need a dryer climate, however, they need more frequent watering.

Plants growing in terrariums need indirect sunlight. Never place one in direct sunlight. Low growing, dense plants work well. You can also control the amount of growth by pruning. Select plants that have similar light and watering requirements, but choose variations in size, color and texture. Some plants that do well in terrariums include small ferns, carnivorous plants, polka dot plants, croton, creeping fig, Ti plant, ribbon plants and prayer plants. If an enclosed terrarium gets too moist and humid inside, open the lid for awhile.

When you start to set up your terrarium, the first thing you should add to the bottom of the container are small clay granules that you can find at most nurseries or garden centers. These are important for proper drainage and help keep the soil from becoming too soggy. (Unscented cat litter will work also.) Next add a thin layer of aquarium gravel. A layer of horticultural charcoal above the gravel will keep the soil from developing a sour odor. Then add a quality indoor potting soil, about 2 inches deep.

Now you are ready to add the plants you chose. Plant the taller ones in the back. Dig small holes for each plant and plant them no higher or lower than they were in the pot. You can add to the miniature landscape by adding rocks, shells, pieces of wood or small ceramic figurines like frogs, turtles, snails or even tiny fairies. Have fun creating your own little world.

The most important thing to remember with a terrarium is not to over water. Open terrariums need less water than other houseplants. Always water light. Closed terrariums only need to be watered every four to six months. Frequent pruning, pinching out tips will keep the plants from growing too tall.

Tips On Cleaning and Storing Your Bedding

The bed is usually the focal point of a bedroom and new bedding can really give a room a fresh, new look. Bedding can get expensive and even if you find a great deal on a new bedspread or comforter, taking good care of it will help keep it looking great.
It’s not uncommon to have different sets of bedding for different seasons. A heavy, thick comforter is good for the winter months, while a lighter quilt or bedspread is appropriate during the warm summer months. Here are some tips for cleaning and storing comforters and bedspreads.

Washing
Make sure you read the label first. Do not machine wash an item that says “dry clean only”. Commercial washing machines or very large machines designed to handle oversized loads are best for proper agitation and better aeration after the rinse cycle. This also helps to remove dust mites more effectively. Use a mild detergent and warm, not hot, water. Avoid pouring the soap directly on the fabric.

Drying
A commercial dryer or extra large capacity dryer is best again for aeration. Avoid over drying, dry on high for 30 minutes and then finish drying on a lower setting. Drying outside on a clothesline is a great way to air out your bedding. It is best to use multiple lines though, to help support the weight. Be careful to avoid direct sunlight which can fade colored fabric.

Storage
A great way to store bulky comforters and bedspreads is to use vacuum sealed storage bags. All the air is sucked out of the bag, making it much smaller. It also keeps dirt, dust mites, mold and bugs away from your bedding. When you need to use the bedding again, it will come out as fresh and clean as when you stored it.

Special care should be taken when cleaning and storing quilts, especially when they are handmade. Follow these tips when caring for quilts:

Washing
To wash a quilt by hand, fill up the tub with warm water and add a gentle, non-abrasive detergent. Wash the quilt using slow, gentle kneading motions. Be careful of any stitching, ribbon or fringe that may tear easily. Never use a brush or abrasive scrubbing tool that can harm the fabric. To rinse, drain the tub and refill with fresh water, and gently work the detergent out, then roll it to squeeze out the excess water. If the tag says you can machine wash, make sure to use the gentle cycle with a mild detergent and never use bleach. Dry cleaning is generally not recommended for quilts.

Drying
The safest way to dry a quilt is to lay it flat. You can use a fan to help it dry faster. Do not hang a quilt over a clothes line, or in direct sunlight. The weight of the quilt, especially when wet can cause the threading to break where it touches the line.

Storage
If you need to fold the quilt to store it, make sure you fold it differently each time to avoid the creases becoming permanent. Wrapping an old sheet around it will help protect it and keep it clean.

Choosing Quality Outdoor Furniture

When deciding what type of outdoor furniture would look stylish as well as surviving through weather extremes, material and craftsmanship are key factors. It’s important to choose quality, well made furniture that can stand up to the elements.
One of the best choices for quality outdoor wood furniture is teak. Even untreated, this sturdy hardwood can survive years of the harshest weather conditions, with an average life span of 75 years. Teak is naturally resistant to water, warping and weather. Over time, it gracefully ages to a beautiful soft silver color. Or, if you prefer the “new” look, just apply teak oil to the wood once or twice a year.
Rattan is another good choice for quality outdoor and indoor furniture. All-weather rattan is the choice for outdoor furniture. Made from the very best synthetic fiber, all-weather rattan is maintenance free and can be left outside year round. The color runs through the fiber, so you never have to worry about it flaking or peeling. Natural rattan is a good choice for fine quality indoor furniture.
Some of the finest teak and rattan are grown in Indonesia. Our supplier of this quality outdoor furniture, Jewels of Java, works closely with Perum Perhutani, the state owned agency that oversees the conservation of the Indonesian teak forest. For every tree that is harvested, a new tree is planted. Only a limited number of trees can be harvested each year, with strict controls on their size and maturity. Jewels of Java is also helping to support the local Indonesian community by providing a positive and professional factory work environment for the highly skilled craftsmen that they employ.
Take a look at our selection of quality outdoor teak furniture. This outdoor furniture is built to last a lifetime, so paying a little more for high quality and craftsmanship the first time will actually save you money in the long run, instead of having to replace cheaper outdoor furniture that couldn’t hold up to Mother Nature.

Rustic & Western Decorating

One of the most popular design schemes today is rustic and western. Rustic decor is usually anything that is hand made, having many different influences such as colonial, Victorian and western.
Western decor reflects the rich history of the Old West, ranch style living and is also heavily influenced by Native American art and culture. It is the design scheme of choice for ranch style homes, log homes and cabins and the lodges of our National Parks. There are also different variations, such as Southwestern decor, which incorporates the warm earthy tones of the desert environment, with a lot of Mexican and Native American influences. In the Pacific Northwest, the decor reflects the cooler tones of the rainforests and the coastal lifestyle.
Rustic and western decor is more than just a design scheme. In many cases, it is a lifestyle as well. It reflects the passion one feels for the country, the history of their area, of their culture.
The appeal is also having furniture and decor that is handmade. We all love knowing we own something that is unique or one of a kind. Usually, more care is paid to the fine details.
Take a few minutes to browse through our selection of rustic furniture, rustic lighting and rustic decor. These beautiful products are handmade and you can request custom pieces, designed exactly the way you want them. Buy through us and save hundreds off the suggested retail price!

Go Green With Eco Friendly Products

One of the latest home decorating and improvement trends “going green”, means using products and appliances that save energy, use less water or other natural resources and have less of a negative impact on the environment.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs use about one fourth of the energy incandescent bulbs use to produce the same amount of light. They come in many shapes and sizes and can save homeowners a substantial amount of money on energy costs when used throughout the home. They do, however, contain small amounts of mercury, so care should be used handling and installing them and especially when disposing of them. Recycling is usually the best option.

If you’re looking for energy saving home appliances, look for the ones that display the Energy Star logo. Energy Star is a collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, helping people save money and protect the environment through the use of energy efficient products and practices. Appliances that display the Energy Star logo meet the strict energy efficient requirements of these two agencies. You can now buy entire homes that have the Energy Star seal.

Another way to “go green” in the home is through the use of textiles and fabrics made of bamboo fiber instead of cotton. Cotton requires large amounts of pesticides to maintain and grow, while bamboo is naturally irrigated. Bamboo produces a unique anti-bacteria and bacteriostasis bio agent called “bamboo kun”. This enables textiles made of bamboo to be naturally anti-bacterial and deodorizing. Bamboo requires less dye than cotton while producing more vivid colors. Bamboo yarn is extremely soft, often compared to cashmere.

The environmental benefits of growing bamboo are many. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Some species can grow as fast as 1 meter per day! The many different species of bamboo are very versatile, making bamboo extremely adaptable to different growing environments. Bamboo uses high amounts of carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas, and produces high amounts of oxygen. This easily renewable resource is abundantly available in rural areas that are economically challenged . Use of bamboo products helps improve the economies and preserves the cultures and lifestyles of these rural communities. Another big environmental advantage is the fact that bamboo is a natural cellulose fiber, making it 100% biodegradable, needing only microorganisms and sunlight to return to the Earth, pollution free.

HomeTreasureCove is proud to announce the addition of 100% bamboo fiber bath towels from Pure Fiber to our line of bath products. These luxurious, soft bath towels are naturally hypo-allergenic and odor resistant. Available in 8 different colors, they make a great addition to any bathroom decor. Do something good for yourself while doing something good for the environment!

Decorating With Collectibles
One of the most popular hobbies today is the hobby of collecting. Collecting is usually a very personal endeavor, ranging from stamps to automobiles and just about everything in between. For those new to collecting, there are numerous magazines on the subject such as Collectors News and Antiques & Collectibles. There might also be a local club or group one can join to share experiences and knowledge on their particular collections. Online forums and chats are another great way to communicate with like minded collectors from different regions.
When decorating with collectibles, there are many options to chose from. First to consider is the size of the collection. This could range from a few select items that could fit on the fireplace mantle, to a collection so large that it would require an entire room to display it all. Try to keep it focused, whether it’s a collection from a certain artist, a certain era, a certain theme, a certain brand, etc. Otherwise, the collection may be confused with a bunch of unorganized clutter. If you have more than one collection, display them in different rooms.
Caring for your collectibles is as important as how you display them. In fact, to avoid dust and dirt, many collectors use frames and display cases with protective glass. Items such as collector plates should never be put in the dishwasher. Porcelain and glass collectibles should be hand washed using warm water and a mild soap. Hand painted items should be kept out of direct sunlight and should be handled as little as possible to avoid being damaged..
Its always a good idea to keep detailed accurate records when starting a collection, including the purchase date, where you bought it and price. Photos or video are recommended as well. This is important information for prospective buyers as well as insurance appraisers. Also be sure to keep all written material, certificates, receipts, care and handling instructions, etc. This is vital information for replacement or resale of valuable collections.
To see some examples of classic American collectibles, visit http://www.hometreasurecove.com/collectibles . Here you can find collectible items from Coca-Cola, John Deere, My Little Kitchen Fairies, Jim Shore Heartwood Creek, and other classic American decor.

Lighting Your Home

One of the most fundamental elements of any home is light. From the natural light of the sun that enters our home through windows, doors and skylights, to recessed lighting and overhead lamps, there are many different and decorative ways to solve the problem of sitting in the dark.
The sun is usually the source of daytime lighting in our home. If you love lots of bright natural light during the day, this can easily be achieved by strategically placing large windows along one wall or installing skylights in the ceiling where you want extra light. In addition to extra light, windows and skylights allow the sun to warm our homes naturally using solar heat. While this can be an advantage during the winter months, you may need sufficient window coverings for the summer months that allow some light in but keep most of the heat out.
For artificial light, there are basically three types of lighting. These include general, task and accent.
General lighting consists of chandeliers, fan lights, ceiling fixtures, wall sconces, and recessed downlights, providing adequate illumination for the room or area.
Task lighting can include lighted mirrors or vanities, desk lamps, floor lamps positioned near furniture for reading and track lighting in the kitchen for cooking and cleaning tasks.
Accent lighting can be achieved by unique table and desk lamps, floor lamps, torchiers, recessed lighting, candles, lanterns and landscape lighting. Different moods or atmospheres are created using dimmer switches and bulb types.
When planning how you want to light different areas of your home, consider each room individually. The lighting requirements will depend on factors such as what type of activity goes on, what style and atmosphere are you trying to create, what tasks need to be performed, where will people sit, and what objects in the room do you want to emphasize. Lighting plays an extremely important role in creating the overall mood of any room.
For more tips on how to light different rooms in your home, go to http://www.hometreasurecove.com/lighting and read the section on “Tips on lighting your home”.

Adding Style and Color With Hand Blown Art Glass

Glassblowing started around 50 B.C. with the Phoenicians and spread under the Roman Empire. It has evolved into what is today an art form requiring a lot of training, skill and intense concentration. Many individuals pursue glassblowing as a hobby and it happens to be one of the fastest growing hobbies in North America.
Modern art glass comes in as many shapes, designs and colors as you can imagine. Some of the patterns and designs created during this complicated process of heating, cooling, cutting, rolling and blowing are absolutely breathtaking. It is fascinating to watch an expert glassblower transform ordinary looking glass into a true work of art.
Art glass can be stunning as a collection, or as an individual piece. It takes the form of sculptures, vases, candle holders, perfume bottles, bowls, plates, paperweights, ashtrays and more. Art glass also makes a great and unusual gift.
Browse through our collection of hand blown art glass at http://www.hometreasurecove.com/handblownartglass . These colorful, unique works of art will work with many different styles of decor and look great in any room. A word of caution though, collecting art glass can be addictive!

Decorating Your Home With Cultural Influences

As we move into the new millennium with more of a global conscience, some of the latest home decor trends include authentic cultural influences. It is now easier than ever to shop online for custom handmade home decor and furnishings made worldwide by local craftsmen and artisans. In addition to adding beautiful cultural diversity to one’s design scheme, it also helps support and preserve the heritage of the local artisan community, many of which are found in impoverished countries around the world.
Helping support talented local artisans in Southeast Asia, http://www.hometreasurecove.com/ offers handmade custom Asian textiles, including luxury Asian bedspreads, duvet covers, throws and decorative pillows. Beautiful hand carved rosewood furniture and other fine Asian decor from local craftsman in Southeast Asia are available on the site as well. These fine products are shipped directly from the warehouse in Southeast Asia where they are made, and there is no charge for shipping.
These Asian textiles and furniture can be found in places like the prestigious Kamalspa, http://www.kamalaspa.com/ a high end Ayurvedic Spa in San Francisco’s famous Union Square, and boutique hotels in Mexico such as The Melville Hotel http://www.themelville.com/, and Hotel Machado http://www.machadohotel.com/.
For more information on home decorating, visit http://www.hometreasurecove.com/ or email webmaster@hometreasurecove.com