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Home Decor & Decorating News - News and informations, articles and inspirations from the world of home decor

Books in the Home

It’s a simple and intuitive fact that books look smart.

They are the historical bearers of wisdom, and one of the greatest and most important innovations that humans have ever made.

That means that keeping a few books around the house looks smart. Each one is a repository of knowledge, whether good or bad, and they all require a certain amount of skill to extract that knowledge.

Knowledge is power.

While this is all generally true about books, the individual book will bear this mantel with its own personality. An Aristotelian tome casts a different light then a saucy romance novel.

Taken together the personality of the individual books in any given location will create an overall impression of the entire room.

This impression is both intellectual, the way people think of the space, and emotional, in that they will react naturally to what they see.

A strategic impression can be created by choosing which books you display, and which ones you store.

This is often the purpose of the coffee table book; however it can be stretched out to shelves, mantels, and whole walls. In this way books can be used in the place of décor, or even wall treatments.

However, the strategic placement of books begs the questions, why hide any side of your personality? If you choose a book, why not display it? If you don’t read, why display books?

That is a matter of conscience.

On the other side of this matter, if you do read, and you are proud of your books, displaying them in your home, or your office, is a way of sharing yourself with those who enter. You are making yourself vulnerable to the scrutiny and opinion of any who happens to come in.

That is a matter of self confidence.

For the average person, walking the middle path will bear the most profitable results. Taking a measured line will allow you to avoid the problems on both sides of the matter.

Review of Shop of Clocks

The latest installment in our series of reviews of the hottest home décor sites on the web took me to the Shop of Clocks

Now, they are a great store, but for some reason the first thing that caught my eye when I came upon them on the web was the information link at the top of the page. It took me to a page, where they had aggregated just about every piece of information about grandfather clocks you can think of. It went on for miles with everything including information on how the grandfather clock got its name, songs about them, a scientific overview of how they work, and some scattered wikipedia information and I absolutely loved it. I find that the more I find out about clocks, the more I am able to apply it to my clock designs.

As far as the store, they had a huge selection of several hundred different clocks to choose from. I have been on a mantel clock hang up lately, so that is the first section I checked out.

mantel clocks

I especially liked the Brass Skeleton Mantel Clock. It had a really distinctive appearance and I feel that is important in a timepiece. The clock is such a vital part of a space that it should reflect who you are as a person. If you just get the same old clock that everyone has, it doesn’t reflect on anything, it just sits there.

They also had a huge selection of Cuckoo Clocks. There are way too many interesting models to mention them all, but I would say to keep your eye open for the owls and squirrels, and the Bird and Roses Cuckoo Clocks

The navigation of the site was intuitive and I would even say quite clever. Basically they list their entire product line on one really long page, and then use a jump navigation system at the top, to get their customers around. It means that you can check out any specific product you want, without having to leave the catalog page. It also makes for great browsing.

Another thing I liked about this company, is that they are very explicit about their store policies, and they spell out their stand on everything, on a very visible FAQ page. This means that there are no surprises when you go to make a purchase.

Anyways I really enjoyed this site, I like the ambiance, the company is responsive and friendly, and I will definitely be back.

Bedroom Candle Holders

kitchen candle holdersCandles are a connection to our primitive selves. They provide us with a link to nature, to fundamental elements, to fire. In a world dominated by cartoon fantasies, and plastic simulacrums, the candle burns through the nonsense, and is real.

Adding a series of candle holders to your bedroom is an exciting process. You get to coordinate a symphony of flames, choosing the way that they will flicker, and illuminate, controlling how the wax will flow, and correcting for shadows and flicker.

Candles will also add a sense of romance to the space, which is always useful in a bedroom. The tiny flames will incite passion and excitement. Just lighting a candle is a very simple, romantic act, that can completely change the mood of an evening.

You should try to choose candle holders which reflect the deepest parts of your personality. The candle holders should also integrate into the rest of the room. You don’t want it to stand out, as standing out is the job of the flame, the holder is just there to display it.

However that doesn’t mean a candle holder can’t stand out, and be unique. You just want to make sure that it fits into the flow of the space naturally.

Another consideration when choosing a candle holder for your bedroom is safety. There is a good chance that candles which you light in the bedroom, will end up being left unattended, either because you fell asleep or got distracted. That is why in the bedroom it is absolutely necessary for you to choose a candle holder that is sturdy, safe, and reliable. You don’t want to sacrifice your home or your life for a pretty light and a little carelessness.

You also want to place them in spots where they wont be easily bumped, or knocked over, or toyed with by children.

If you are aware and take a few precautions, candle holders can be an easy and effective way to add some passion and fire to your life.  

Find Fun in Kid Decor

When your a kid there is nothing more fun than playing with toys. When we grow up, this feeling lingers. Somewhere inside we still yearn to play, but we hide this because we don’t have the time, we don’t want to look immature, and we don’t want to seam crazy.

Luckily, we can satisfy these desires through our children. That’s why decorating a kid’s room should be one of the most fun and exciting decorative projects you can undertake.

When decorating a child’s room, you get to let your imagination go wild. Suddenly anything is possible, and the more fantastic a thought, the better it is. This is because you want to create an environment which fosters creativity and free thinking. You want them to be inspired every time they wake up and open their eyes.

You also get to play with toys again. A child’s room is a play room, and the way toys are stored, used, and displayed is all a major part of the way the space will look. This means you can set up elaborate fantasy scenes, play house, have a war, or create a tea party with stuffed animals, all in the name of good design.

The only real restraint you have is the direction you want to lead your child in. You have to remember, a child’s environment affects how they develop in a variety of ways. Adding touches such as science and literary based objects can help to foster an interest in these subjects, that just might lead them into a future career.

Decorating a child’s room should be a fun and fanciful experience, where you get to play pretend, mess around with toys, and generally remember what it is to be a kid again.

GFC Plus - Grandfather Clocks and Much Much More

grandfather clock

Before I review this site, let me just give you a few statistics about their overwhelming inventory.

Wall Clocks – they carry 342 models including quartz clocks, round clocks, and keywound time pieces

Mantel Clocks – they currently carry 160 models

Tabletop Clocks – they carry 130 models including over 30 miniature clocks.

Grandfather Clocks – their pride and joy, they carry 238 models ranging from chain, to grandmother clocks, to cable designs.

Now they may not have everything in stock at all times, but I still wanted to add those statistics in to show what an overwhelming selection they actually have.

The first clock item that caught my eye was the brightly depicted Hemmingway Wooden Gear Clock that is right on their front page. Clicking around to their full catalog of wooden gear clocks reveals some of the most inspiring and delightful timepieces I have ever seen.

hemmingway wooden gear clocks

The Hemmingway Clock itself is carved from Mahogany and Cherry wood and consists of a series of richly intricate scrolling details. This piece just drew my eye in, tempting me to visually explore every feature in its richly crafted face. This piece is accompanied by a variety of other, exquisitely designed wooden gear timepieces, including Grandois clock by Landry, and the Shakespeare Limited Edition.

A little more exploration led me to the delightful miniatures section, which consists of a variety of itty bitty timepieces that are designed to sit on a table or in a row on a mantle. The miniature clocks are crafted in the shape of dollhouse furniture such as tiny gramophones, rocking chairs, and toy soldiers, with minute clocks worked into the pieces in clever ways. What a great way to add a little delight to your décor.

adoreable miniatures

The next thing that I noticed was that they have a very interesting collection of antique clocks. I was particularly taken by the Bird and Leaf Cuckoo by Hubert Herr, which features powerful and meaningful bird and leaf carvings in a gentle walnut finish. The nature of the bird characters and the feel of the piece had a dignified personality that spoke to my artistic spirit.

With such an overwhelming selection I only barely scratched the surface on my first visit. But that just means I get to go back and browse through their site again and again.

Alphachessets Discounts and Beauty

wooden cover chess sets

The holiday shopping season is here once again and I am in hot pursuit of the perfect gifts for all of my friends and family. As I was doing my shopping, I came across this really great little chess site called Alphachesssets.com

I was immediately struck by the big, beautiful, vibrant pictures that they have posted all over their site. Somehow they have managed to get all of these pictures to display, as big as they are, without slowing down the load time of the site. This means that I can seamlessly sift from page to page without having to wait, and without having to mess with thumbnails.

The first product which really caught my attention was this attractive gray elm chess table

chess tables

As you can see the shimmering polished board rests atop 4 delicately carved legs. I really like the look of the gray elm, which almost simulates the feel of natural stone. The set is a little pricey, but is actually really competitive compared to other chess tables in the market, and I am seriously considering purchasing one for myself once the holidays are over.

However today I was not shopping for myself, it is the time for giving! Luckily I found this exquisite brass chess set below.

theme chess sets

I personally really like themed chess sets. I know its a bit impure, but I like the fantasy element, and I always picture an actual battle in my minds eye when I play a game of chess. The Poseidon themed board above was extraordinarily impressive to me. While the pieces are incredibly detailed, it is the board itself that caught my eye. Just look at the way the red squares have a tiny teardrop of light, accenting them and giving them a sense of power and prestige.

Another great thing about this site is that they offer a couple of really great benefits. First of all they are willing to pay all shipping charges, which means that the price you see is the price you get. Second, they have this great membership club where you can sign up, and get 10% off of all of your orders. How cool is that?

Anyways this site is definitely going in my list of favorites and I will be returning as the shopping season goes onward.

Brain Rook

We’ve been on a bit of a chess kick lately and our editors have reviewed several chess stores online over the past few weeks. Personally for me, this has been due to the Christmas shopping season, as I was planning on using chess as a sort of theme for a few of my nepohews gifts.

However today I found a chess site which doesn’t have anything to sell. Instead they give away, for free, knowledge, facts, and information about chess and game related topics.

Brain rook is a seamlingly simple website, and yet it contains a wide variety of quality, useful information. They cover every variant of chess including extinction chess, anti chess, horde chess, and ambiguous chess, as well as information on the standard game. They also cover backgammon, checkers, poker, and a lot of different novelties and games.

I really found it interesting that someone had taken the time to compile all of this info in one easy to use place. If your looking for some info on just about any game out there, and you don;t want to have to trudge to a bookstore for the right to hand over $20 bucks, you might want to take a look at brainrook.com

Novel Basement Lighting Ideas

lighted wall clocks

Illumination is one of the most important factors in creating the ambiance of a space. In a basement it is even more important, because the rooms position recessed in the ground necessitates that its windows are set high in the wall. This makes it difficult foir natural sunlight to enter the space, because of the weird angle which it must attain in order to get through these specially positioned windows.

In an unfinished basement, this lack of light can actually be used to your advantage. Since the walls and features of the space will tend to be less attractive, you can hide these attributes in shadow, and choose to illuminate features that you prefer.

Novelty lighting has the ability to draw the eye towards itself, and away from everything else. In this way various novel illuminations can be used to create points of light, around which you can craft a makeshift room.

For instance, placing an illuminated Tiffany lamp on a pedestal in a pitch black basement creates a circle of light. Placing chairs, tables, and even other back up lamps around this space, allows you to carve a room into the dark. Couple this with accessories, rugs, vases, clocks etc. and you end up with a rather attractive room, devoid of walls, where you control what is seen and what is hidden.

Illuminated clocks are another form of novelty lighting which are especially useful in a basement. They can be hung on a wall to show off a single finished pane, or can be left as an accent ona table, or even hanging from the ceiling.

basement tiffany lamps

Another way to use novel lights throughout this space are to hang christmas string lights throughout areas you want to illuminates. They can be used to create pathways through the space by laying them on the floor, or if bunched together can hide unseamly cielings and walls. Globe lights have a similar, if less subtle effect.

Flush Mount Basement Lighting

flush mount basement lighting fixtures

Flush mount fixtures are the standard lighting fixtures used for basement illumination. That’s because in the basement, ceilings are often lower than in standard rooms. This means that there is not a lot of room for fancy dangling chandeliers or even for semi-flush mount fixtures, which can jut down into the usable space in the room.

There are a wide variety of flush mount fixtures available. Most come in a standard white or clear color that doesn’t interfere with the nature of the illumination very much. However if you want to cast an illuminated mood on a room, a tinted fixture can help to set the ambiance throughout the space.

The picture above is hyperlinked to one of our recommended lighting fixture stores, homeofdecor. They have a wide variety of fixtures, both flush and hanging. While we are an affiliate partner of theres, so far we have found them to have one of the best selections online

Unique Elegance with My-Chess-Set.com

brass-chess-men.jpg

A picture really does speak a thousand words. Now I’m not as much into collectible chess sets as some of the other guys here, like Jim who is constantly coming up with new chess designs. Its almost annoying, he’s like a little kid running in every 5 minutes to tell me about his latest chess creations.

However, despite my stylistic predilections, today I found a website that may have swayed me. My-Chess-Set.com has apparently been one of the leading chess retailers for quite a while now, but I only recently stumbled on them while researching an article on home libraries. Honestly, they have some of the most exquisite chess sets I have ever seen. And the way they lay them out and present them, huge pictures, simple navigation, it really makes it easy to consider one of having these pieces in your home.

First of all I would like to talk about the picture above of the Knights metal chess set from Manopoulous.

Since the pieces don’t have the standard chess look, the set is really unique, and can add a lot of character to a house. Also, they allow chess to be more than a game or a toy, it can actually be a stylish addition to your home.

The second chess set I would like to talk about is the black and brown alabaster chess set Made in Chiellini Italy, this set is really powerful, due mostly to the intense natural features which are found in the pieces and the matching board.

I love that a set which is so stylish, elegant, and refined, is made from all natural alabaster. The fact that this natural material was used gives the set an inherent strength which a simulated material would not be able to match.

So I finally found a chess store that has actually made me consider buying a set. And if anyone says I told you so, you had better watch out!

chess sets