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Furniture and Your Personality

Finding the Furnishings That Fit Your Style

Our surroundings say a lot about who we are and what we are like. The furnishings we choose for our homes and offices often delightfully reflect our personality styles.

There is an old saying that pets and their owners look alike. The same adage can be used when speaking about people and their furnishings. There are many different styles of furniture. Like us, they can be modern or old-fashioned, religious or irreverent, formal, semi-formal, large, small, elegant, or even downright shabby! They usually have interesting histories, reflect their times, and often pass their characteristics down to their successors.

Gothic Style

The Gothic style of furniture that we see in antique stores today is mostly a result of the Gothic revival of the early 1800s. A very early form of the Gothic-type can be found in ancient Roman architecture. The style was reborn in France, in or about the 12th century, as a religious art form that was reflected in furniture, architecture, paintings and even eating utensils.

In the 1800s, the Gothic design form was re-introduced by an architect named Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, who had been trained to create illustrations of Gothic buildings for publications. Mr. Pugin fervently believed that the Gothic style was the only style that should be used to reflect Christianity in architecture. As gothic style became increasingly popular, Pugin also designed gothic furnishings for the home, religious, and office use.

Gothic style furniture is strong and heavy, opinionated, and stately. It’s hard to move, is made of stern stuff and ages well. It’s just a little bit scary looking, too!

Arts and Crafts (Mission) Style

The arts and crafts (or missions) style was a late 19th century/early 20th-century design revolt against the pretentious Victorian era, with its heavy Gothic influences. The architect Philip Webb introduced the plain and simple style which emphasized clean lines and honest handiwork. Machine labor wasn’t entirely discouraged in the manufacture of the furniture, but good old-fashioned hand labor was preferred. Dovetail joints, not nails, were (and still are) used to fasten furniture parts together. Mission style furniture enjoyed a revival in the 2000s.

Arts and Crafts furniture are honest and hard-working. It is unpretentious, clean, and scrupulous. Arts and Crafts style lives by the Boy Scout code (clean, thrifty, honest, trustworthy, etc.). You can trust this style of furniture to give you firm support.

Art Deco (Modern) Style

Boop Boop Be Doop! This famous (or infamous) style of architecture and furniture design was the hippy movement of its time. For the most part, style, not substance, was the important element of the Modern movement. Mass production of furniture by unknown, unnamed factory workers rapidly churned out this wildly popular style; the craftsmanship was not nearly as important as salesmanship. The hallmark of the Art Deco furniture style was its use of geometric angles. It existed between the two World Wars as an exciting and brand new kind of style, and it is still admired and used today.

Art Deco furniture is fun and free-wheeling in a slightly old-fashioned sort of way. Art Deco likes to rebel against tradition and have its own way. Art Deco doesn’t mind shocking the sensibilities a bit, but it means no real harm by it.

Deconstructionism Design

Deconstructionism architecture and furniture design is exactly what it sounds like — an attempt to deconstruct the designs of the past and set a new standard. Deconstructionism furniture often requires a second look to establish its purpose. If the form is supposed to follow function, deconstructionism missed the memo. A sofa may or may not look like a sofa. The guess is all yours.

Deconstructionism is irreverent, avant-garde and unpredictable. It is not always what it appears to be, but it is usually secure and steady beneath its unusual facade. Deconstructionism may want to shake up the way the world thinks, but its heart is in the right place. Deconstructionism just wants to have fun, but in a more up-to-date way than its older cousin Art Deco.

Furniture Personality Style

Furniture makers and architects are artists who tend to lend their personality traits to their creations. People who buy furniture often gravitate towards a furniture design style because something in what the designer was trying to impart speaks to them, too.

Home Decorating Tips for Small Living Spaces

Home decorating tips for small living spaces

Selecting small space furniture and decor can be the most vexing challenge in creating your small living space. Your space should be functional and stylish as well as easy to live with.

Use Multifunctional Furniture

dining table that doubles as a workdesk

Although it can be tempting to look for small furniture pieces to ensure that they will all fit, it is actually better to choose larger pieces that can do double duty. Is a desk and dining room table necessary or could you combine these areas with a statement making table that allows you to host the whole family for dinner and, on a separate occasion, give you more than enough room to spread out your work space?

An open book shelf as a room divider can give structure to an open room by defining the space while allowing light to pass through and gives extra storage.

Increasing Storage Space in a Small Living Area

sectional sofa chair for small homes

In a small living space you need to be more cognizant than ever that everything needs a place. Tidiness is key so there is no such thing as enough storage space.

Look for furniture that offer hidden storage so you can free up that limited closet space for the things you really need in there.

For example, Ikea offers small scale sectionals that convert into sofa beds and even including bedding storage under the chaise section as well as over-sized chairs that unfold into single beds, again with available storage space underneath to hide the bedding.

Utilize Vertical Space for Storage

hanging shelves for small living spaces

You might be amazed how much larger your space can feel by leaving as much of your floor showing as possible. Consider floating shelves or a wall-mounted TV instead of bookshelves or a credenza that sits directly on the floor.

Mount cabinets and shelving right up to the ceiling. In a tall closet you might consider raising the bar for hanging clothes above your head to allow enough space beneath it for a second one.

Don’t Overlook Design in a Small Living Area

home decor for small homes

Window draperies can feel like they encroach on space but they also warm up a small space and make it cozy. Use tie backs to ensure they stay in their place. Ensure there is an oversupply of lighting as this will expand your space. Utilize bright over-head light or floor lamps, mixed with warm table lamps, task light over work surfaces and strip lighting in open shelving or under cabinets to create interest.

Candles and mirrors used as decor will additionally help with creating the illusion of space. Use mirrors opposite windows to reflect the outside view, inside.

Choosing the right furniture and decór can make living in a small space cozy and just as comfortable as living in larger spaces.

The Best Way to Clean Contact Lenses

Many people are afraid to try wearing contact lenses because they have heard horrific stories about people getting eye infections and even going blind and the contact lenses are often blamed. The truth is that contact lenses are a safe and an effective method of helping your eyesight and almost all infections are not the result of the lenses themselves but, caused by incorrect cleaning of the contact lenses.

Cleaning your contact lenses is a straightforward and easy procedure but, it does require you to follow specific guidelines to ensure that you keep your lenses and their case as bacteria free as possible. By consulting with your optometrist and following these few simple steps you should be able to wear your contact lenses with no worry of infection to your eyes.

Clean Your Case

Even a single drop of water sitting in your contact lens case can house hundreds of bacteria. That is why it is essential to clean your contact lens case daily and make sure it is completely dry before putting your inexpensive contacts back to where you keep them. The best time to clean your case is immediately after removing your contact lenses for the day. Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide inside the case and rub it for several seconds, then let it sit for about 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly in hot water and turn upside down on a clean towel to air dry throughout the day. When you are ready to remove and clean your contacts at the end of the day, your case will be clean and ready to place them in.

Cleaning Your Contacts

Correct way of cleaning your lens caseThere are two systems available for cleaning your contact lenses: the two-way system and all-in-one system. While many people prefer the all-in-one system because of its convenience, the fact of the matter is that the two-way system does a much better job of removing bacteria from your lenses than does the all-in-one system. For that reason, the two-in-one system offers the best care for your lenses and the best protection for your eyes.

The first step in the two-way cleaning system for contact lenses is the disinfecting of the lenses daily. This is done using a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Studies have shown that rubbing your lenses for 20 to 30 seconds removes more bacteria than soaking alone. Try soaking your lenses for a few seconds then rubbing them for 20 or 30 seconds and then dipping them again for another 20 seconds or so. This should remove most, if not all, the bacteria on your lenses.

You then rinse them with the neutralizing solution and put them in the clean case to keep fresh throughout the night.

Other Things to Consider in Keeping Your Contact Lenses Clean

Besides simply properly cleaning your lenses there are a few other things you will need to consider keeping your lenses as bacteria free as possible. First, before putting your lenses in your eye, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, rinse well and dry. Second, only handle your contact lenses with the tips of your fingers, and if one should fall on a countertop, table, or floor, it is always advisable to reclean your contact before putting it in your eye.

Don’t continually take your contacts out and put them on in the course of the day. Repeated handling of your contacts is bound to accumulate bacteria. If your contacts are uncomfortable enough that you feel the need to remove them regularly, it is best to leave them out for the day and wear your glasses giving your eyes a chance to rest.

You should also refrain from wearing your contacts if you have a case of pink eye or other eye condition as in these cases you are not only increasing the risk of spreading bacteria, but also slow the healing process.

Contacts are a wonderful alternative to glasses and provide you with the look you want at an affordable price. Keeping your contacts as clean and as bacteria free as possible will allow you to wear your contacts with complete comfort and confidence day in and day out.

Keeping a Clean, Organized Home When You Have Small Children

Do you have CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? You have small children, but it is driving you nuts to see a chaotic mess throughout the house. Yet, you do not know how to schedule the time into your day to clean, do laundry and cook dinner. You watched “The Stepford Wives,” and you see they did it, so why can’t you? It is not that hard to keep your house company ready. With a few tips to guide you and a little bit of organization, you will be the envy of the playgroup.

Designating a play area will keep kids from messing the living roomDESIGNATE A PLAY AREA

If you have small children, then you probably have toys all over your house. They are most likely in the parents’ room, the bathroom, the living room, the kitchen, and other hidden places where you have not stepped on yet. Gather all of the toys and confine them to one area. If you have a room that you do not often use, such as a dining room, then pack up the fancy table and make that play central.

DESIGNATE DAYS

Do not try to clean everything every day. Designate certain days for specific chores. For example, you can clean bathrooms on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and vacuum on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Depending on the amount of laundry your family uses, you can do laundry on specific days or even a load a day. If you maintain your chores, daily, you will not seem so overwhelmed every day.

KITCHEN

Clean the kitchen as each meal ends. This will ensure that you have a neat and tidy kitchen all day long. Immediately after breakfast, it may be tempting to plop down on the couch and watch ‘Regis and Kelly’, however just wash up the cereal bowls first and wipe down the countertops. This way each meals dishes and mess will not pile on top of the next meals.

MEAL PLAN

If you do meal planning and cook dinner early, then you will not feel overwhelmed at 4 pm when your son needs help with homework, and your other children are fighting over a Lego. Sit down and write out a plan for the week. It can include 4-7 meals, depending on leftovers. Stick the calendar on the fridge and then everyday look to see what meal you have planned for that day. When your kids lay down for a nap or if they are quiet for a few minutes, start dinner early. There is nothing wrong with throwing the meatloaf in at 11 am. This means by 5 pm, you just have to warm the food up, and dinner is on the table in less than a few minutes.

Giving kids chores will help them become more responsibleHAVE KIDS HELP

If you have toddlers and preschool children, let them help you around the house. Children love to help and making them imitate mom or dad will do wonders for their self-esteem. Buy your child a child size broom, sponge, and bucket and let them follow you around the house. Put a sock on their hand and let them dust. This way you are getting chores done, while they are staying out of trouble.

UTILIZE NAP TIME

If your children take a nap during the day, use this free time to your advantage. This is the time to mop floors, vacuum, and do other things that you cannot do when you have little feet behind you.

RELAX

Do not stress yourself out with trying to keep the tidiest house on the block. Your friends and family know you have small children, so they do not expect your home to look like a museum. I know as a mother that I would rather sit on the floor of my messy house and play Barbie with my daughters than have a spotless house. Just enjoy the time that your children are young because it goes far too fast.

Opting for the Right Contact Lenses For Hygiene and Comfort

Choosing between contact lenses and glasses mainly depends upon the preference of the person who is going to wear them. However, a lot of people who have realized the fact that they usually look more attractive without glasses have started using contact lenses. Based on the replacement schedule, you Ophthalmologist may ask you to choose from any of the following types of lens, quarterly disposable, weekly disposable and daily disposable.

WHICH KIND ARE BEST FOR YOU?

Quarterly Disposable

These contact lenses are to be replaced every three months. These lenses used to be very popular in the past, but people have started to conceive the fact that, lenses that are frequently changed provide more comfort. Quarterly disposable lenses are usually made of rigid material and might be highly uncomfortable in the beginning.

Weekly Disposable

These lenses are designed to last for a week to two weeks. Many people these days choose weekly disposable lenses.

Daily Disposable

Daily disposable lenses could be called “use and throw away.” As the name suggests, people use them for the day and replace them with new lenses the next day. These are the most comfortable to the eye and also prevent most eye problems stemming from contact lens usage.

Now that you have understood how contact lenses are classified based on replacement schedule let us see why daily disposables are the most popular when it comes to hygiene and comfort.

Comfort

You will feel extremely comfortable with daily disposable lenses. Since these lenses are designed for only one day’s use, they are made out of fragile and soft material. You will not even feel you are wearing daily lenses. Many people who sport quarterly disposables are bothered by the fact that they can actually see their contacts. You cannot detect daily disposable lenses.

Fashion Forward LookImproved vision

The longer you wear your contacts, the more likely you will get dust and protein accumulated on your lenses. You will have no issues regarding dirt or deposits accumulating in your daily disposables since you are going to use them just one day and replace them with a new pair the next morning. This is one of the greatest advantages of using daily disposables; since you don’t let dirt or another unwanted stuff build-up on your contacts, you will always have a clear vision.

Oxygen

Your eyes need to breathe; a constant supply of oxygen is needed by your cornea. When you are asleep, the oxygen will be supplied to your cornea using blood vessels that is present on the back of your eyelids. Daily disposable lenses are very flimsy and so they allow maximum oxygen to pass through. If your cornea is not supplied with ample oxygen, it might lead to an eye condition called corneal hypoxia, which might lead to other conditions including a decrease in vision.

Dirt & Infection

The two most sensitive parts of our body that are exposed to a constant bombardment of dirt and affected by pollution are our skin and eyes. The human eye has a self-cleaning mechanism using cleaning all the dirt, deposited calcium and protein through tears. If you are going to wear a quarterly/annual disposal contacts, then you might be at the risk of getting infected since you will have to handle the same contacts over and over for several months. In the case of daily contacts, you don’t have to worry about infection since you are going to change your contacts every single day. Therefore, hygiene conscious lens users’ trend to go for daily disposable these days.

Damage

A lot of times you might find yourself damaging your contacts by handling them roughly or accidentally dropping. It could be very depressing if you are wearing hard quarterly or annual disposable contacts which are a bit expensive to replace. When it comes to daily disposable, you don’t have to mourn about damaging or tearing your contacts. You can easily replace the damaged lenses with a brand-new pair of lenses for a very affordable price.

CONTACT LENSES SAFETY TIPS

It is highly recommended to always wash your hands before picking your contacts from your lens case. It’s better if you wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap or hand wash for at least 10 seconds.

Always use the recommended lens solution. Never use ordinary tap water to wash your contact lenses. You might sometimes find school kids, and naïve adults were doing this. This might affect your lens quality. Even if you have daily disposables and find the need to wash them, only use your lens solution.

Finally, never buy colored contact lenses from beach shops and convenience stores, just because they are cheap. They can do considerable damage to your eyes.

Picking the Right Furniture to Complement Your Home

Buying furniture and personalizing a space to match your tastes is what makes a house a home. Moving into a new house, especially if you are moving into a larger one, may be daunting. You might be wondering how you can fill all the new, vast rooms with modern furniture to make the house look beautiful. The process is not as difficult and as overwhelming as it may seem if you keep some simple tips in mind and break down your decorating options by rooms and function. Remember, decorating and furnishing your house is a slow process and not all the rooms need to be decorated at once.

Complement or Contrast

Shopping for furniture should balance style and comfortFor most people, having a cohesive interior design scheme is important. It can be a bit off-putting and jarring to have a hodgepodge mix of ornate, antique, French furniture and modern furniture in adjacent rooms. One thing to think about when planning your design is to consider the architectural style of the house. When decorating and choosing furniture, one of the best methods of producing interesting design styles is to either select items that complement or items that contrast. For example, if the house is Victorian in style, it makes perfect sense to choose Victorian furniture and accessories. However, for a more interesting and unique decorating solution, try decorating the home with modern furniture, a stark contrast with the Victorian architecture of the home. The contrasting styles between modern furniture and old architecture will be interesting, offering a compromise between the old and new, blending seamlessly into a unique and cohesive design.

The idea of complementing and contrast can also be extended to choosing colors and fabrics for furniture. According to color theory, colors that are opposite on the color wheel make one another stand out — for example green and red, purple and yellow, and blue and orange. If the walls of a room are painted one color, picking furniture of a contrasting color can make it really stand out. Homeowners could also choose to go with a monochromatic color scheme, choosing fabrics that are similar in nature to the color of the walls.

Furniture Durability

One important consideration when buying furniture is its durability. Furniture can be expensive, so no one wants to buy furniture that will scratch or stain easily. At the same time, durability and good looks do not often go hand in hand, so it is important to strike a balance between the two.

Different families have different needs in terms of durability of furniture. If a family has small children, durability may be a key and deciding issue when purchasing furniture. Kids are messy and prone to accidents. Shoppers should choose furniture that offers the maximum forgiveness and durability like couches with vinyl or microfiber upholstery or modern furniture made of metal, which is less likely to scratch than expensive woods.

Another consideration for people who have small kids in the house is safe. Many pieces of modern furniture can have hard, sharp edges. Instead, people with small children should select pieces that have rounded edges and soft corners. Also, it is helpful to avoid furniture that is made of glass, or that has exposed screws, for these can cause potentially severe injury should a child fall on or hit them with a lot of force.

Kids or No Kids?

Finally, people with children should opt for colors that do not easily show stains like dark blue or earth tones. For people who do not have children, the options are more unlimited, but durability should still be a factor.

When selecting chairs that will be sat infrequently, you will need to make sure that the cushion has adequate padding. Padding can quickly lose its shape and form, making what was once a comfortable chair a piece of furniture that people avoid. It can be tough to judge whether or not a cushion will be durable, but let the price be a good guideline. Generally, well-constructed, high quality, durable pieces will cost more than cheap furniture that will wear out after repeated use.

If you are still wary about getting started, more has been written on how to decorate your home and to read it is always encouraged.