Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is your house user-friendly? Tips on painting, design, furniture

Is your house user-friendly? A house should be a place where you can relax. It should not make you nervous of breaking expensive objects.

A house should be a place where you feel comfortable after your heavy work schedule, rushing back through roads with traffic jams and crowds throughout the day. This is why home design should always be a combination of aesthetics and utility; i.e. maintenance, safety, easy-touse equipment, life of the product and cost. Most of these elements should always be considered from the point of view of utility; with just a few being solely of aesthetic value.

Consider this:

Avoid polished furniture in areas that receive direct sunlight because sometimes the veneer loses its natural colour and the melamine polish also gets flaked. Families with small children should opt for laminate instead of veneer, which requires polishing. Use real washable paints like oil paint or pearl lustre in the children's room.

Melamine polish is not at all scratch-resistant, so even if you prefer using veneer with polishing, try avoiding it for horizontal surfaces or you will have to use a glass top to protect it. There are a variety of laminates available, which match most of the natural veneers, so use matching laminates on horizontal surfaces.

Using a wood finish laminate for your furniture instead of veneer is quite common. Nowadays, many laminates are available that appear to look like natural veneers. You can't tell the difference unless you touch it. Always try to keep all furniture ends round. Avoid sharp corners especially for wood tops, glass tops and stone tops. Use antiskid tiles for flooring in bathrooms, because ceramic tiles with a glossy finish or natural stones such as marble or granite are dangerous, especially when they get wet. Choose taps with chrome plating over the coloured ones, because chrome-plated fittings look the same even after several years and are priced lower. Detergent and hard water from bore wells affect ivory gold or black gold fittings, which tend to lose their sheen.

While painting, avoid using any colours on the ceiling except white otherwise the natural light reflection in the room will be lost and it will look gloomy all the time. One should ideally use plain glass for windows - it creates an illusion of space, as the natural surroundings outside seem to become part of the room. You can always put up curtains for privacy.

Always use a darkcoloured glossy laminate band as the skirting for kitchen furniture. This will keep the furniture from looking dirty over time. Preferably opt for a dark band of black or brown.

It is advisable to use silverfinish handles on kitchen cabinets as their finish lasts longer. Even good quality brass handles will fade over a period of time due to frequent contact with turmeric. Install granite tops on surfaces that will be used frequently.

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