Primitive Country Furniture and Decor

Primitive country furniture brings a harmonious balance into your home with the rest of your decor. These hand-crafted, rustic, and pre-aged furnishings provide warm and welcome comfort to your family and your visitors. For decades the cabin decor, Adirondack, and mountain lodge styles have been known as the least imposing and most comfortable styles available to the country decorator. Primitive country furniture will blend nicely with other similar decorating styles such as the ones listed above and even Arts and Crafts, Mission Movement, French Country and Craftsman furniture. Now, through the incomparable woodworkers of the Amish communities, you too can recreate the surroundings of the great outdoors in your own country home. Your furniture will be understated with simple classic lines.

Cloth and paint colors are neutral or in early Americana colors. The primitive furniture and pillows will be cozy and overstuffed. In the old days, many primitive country furnishings were made from twigs, branches and other natural elements – so look for earthy colors and uneven tones. Primitive country furniture series has tables, chairs, desks, armoires, nightstands, dressers, benches, beds, and thick wood coffee tables. You’ll find them painted, raw, aged, or in artisan hand crafted, old fashioned, traditional designs. The primary feature of this style country furniture is the use of materials from reused pieces, barns, and posts. Planks are old, or fashioned to appear vintage or antique. Some primitive furniture has been created and decorated with bark, branches and twigs. Each log and twig is especially chosen for their shape and texture – right down to the decorative trim. The chunky wood styles of primitive country furniture lend themselves easily to armoires, wardrobes and big tables. Big chests and trunks also double as an innovative coffee table or bench for the foot of the bed.

In the double drawer wardrobe you’ll find much more than a closet. Plain oval dining tables with benches make excellent primitive country dining sets. The wooden wall cupboards, wardrobes, plate racks, and hutches give your dining room a comfortable, country style. Or, place a rectangular work table in your kitchen, and use antique kitchenware for your cooking and serving – this brings back memories of an old farm house, doesn’t it? Use traditional lighting and chandeliers for a truer experience – with those roughly finished cupboards and racks nearby the kitchen experience will be rustic, homey, warm. There are many different ways obtain primitive country furniture, and they aren’t all expensive! Buying used furniture and roughing it up to age it, or overstuffing and recovering larger pieces are two easy and inexpensive alternatives.

Feng Shui Your Bedroom – A Guide to Bring Harmony, Peace and a More Restful Sleep

According to ancient Chinese Wisdom, a properly designed bedroom can improve your love life, finances and even your career. Whether or not you believe in the spiritual power of Feng Shui, the principles are often applied in Western decorating because of the emphasis on soft simplicity and minimalistic approach.

Bedrooms are our sanctuaries, the one place in the home where the primary function of the room is to rest. However, many of us find ourselves not resting in our bedrooms. I won’t promise that every night you will get 8 solid hours of sleep and every morning you will be ready for anything, A bedroom needs some planning in order to amplify certain aspects of your life including love, romance, relaxation, and rejuvenation both mental and physical.

A truly restorative bedroom makes your entire senses feel good, nourishing and sensual. Energy Circles in Feng Shui represent clear communication and balance, be sure to have some communication and balance, be sure to have some round artwork (in pairs) you can even use a can dipped lightly in a lighter tone of your wall paint and in different sizes and stamp the feature wall – it will be subtle and look much like wallpaper. You can even get some luxurious bedding with soft circle designs. Soothing sounds like wind chimes outside your window would create a harmonious; calming effect. Don’t forget calming scents- use a diffuser with rose or lavender scents.

Pick a theme or style that reflects your personality and that works well for you and your family, both for style and practical purposes. It might be country, contemporary, minimalist, classic, or a unique combination of any of these. It doesn’t matter what the style that is important it is the Feng Shui balance that matters the most.

The free flow of chi energy in the bedroom is also important. Chi enters a room through the door. How well Chi circulates and affects you depends on the placement of the objects in a room. Allow your doorway, the major source of incoming Chi, to serve its function. Even if you normally enter from another direction, make sure that all doors in your bedroom are able to open at least 90 degrees. The critical areas in your bedroom are the same; sleeping, relaxing, reading, dressing and storage for clothes and shoes, etc.

- clear the clutter under the bed as this can disturb your sleep. Not to mention cause turmoil with your love life. Get rid of anything broken, dirty or muddy shoes or torn tee shirts orother items you have stored in bins.

- thoroughly de-cluter and clean your closets. Let go of clothes that you haven’t worn in a year. Use a bin to house donated items, and don’t forget those trash bags for items that are stained or torn. Invest in a closet system – many are inexpensive and can be found at your local hardware store. What’s astonishing is that we wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. The bulk of our wardrobe is gathering dust on hangers.

- store winter items in the summer, then reverse the scenario in the spring and summer. If it doesn’t fit get rid of it. Dress for the size you are now and get rid of those items that don’t fit anymore. If you do lose a little weight then you can treat yourself to a new wardrobe; how exciting is that!! Do not use wire or other plastic hangers for sweaters or tees hanging in the closet because you get what I call ‘knees’ in the shoulders from the hangers. These items should be folded and stored in a dresser or in the closet. Use clip style hangers for skirts and pants it saves space and makes the close look neat. You can donate the good items and you can deduct it as an expense on your tax return if you Itemize deductions; or you can send them to a consignment shop where you can make some money.

- take out all the items that create visual clutter that do not really belong in your bedroom. This includes the television (yikes the t.v.) any exercise equipment, office work and related items. If you keep the T.V. in the bedroom then make sure it is housed in an Amore when you sleep. The good Feng Shui energy in your bedroom is the free flow of the Chi – electronics and even an exercise machine can interfere with brain and nervous systems.

- open the windows often or use a good quality air-purifier to keep the air fresh and full of oxygen. You cannot have good Feng Shui if the air you breathe in is stale and full of pollutants.

- have several levels of lighting in your bedroom, or use a dimmer switch to adjust the energy accordingly. Good appropriate lighting is very important, as light is our number one nutrient and one of the strongest manifestations of energy. Candles are the best for Feng Shui bedroom lighting, but be sure to buy candles with no toxins, not only that, be sure to blow them out before you go to sleep.

- use soothing colors to achieve a good Feng Shui balance in your bedroom. Feng Shui bedroom decor is a balanced decor that promotes the best flow of energy for restoritive sleep, as well as sexual healing. Place lots of comfy coordinating pillows and a luxurious chenille throw on the bed it will make the bed look and feel ‘lavish’! The best Feng Shui colors for the bedroom are considered the so called “skin colors”, and we, of course, know the colors of the human skin vary from pale white to rich chocolate brown.

Follow the basic Feng Shui guidelines for your bed which include:

- have your bed approchable from both sides,
- have 2 bedside tables (one on each side) if you don’t have room on one side of the bed to place a night stand then make sure that there is at least 3″ between the bed and wall;
- the best position of the bed is diagonally opposite the door. If this is not possible then place a bench or blanket box in front of the bed so that it will block or slow down any negative energy.
- make you bed daily, after all the bed anchors the room and sets the tone for the entire room. A made bed inspires order and calm.
- never place a mirror at the foot of the bed this brings about depression, loneliness or other problems along with negative Chi. Choose serene and calm images or those that have a happy sentimental meaning to you.
- keep all the doors closed at night, be it the closet doors, the bathroom door and the bedroom door. This will allow for the best and flexibility for positive energy.
- place an item or object you love and the first thing that you see when you walk through the door of your bedroom. It could be a vase, a picture or almost anything else that makes you feel happy and secure.

Remember that items in your bedroom should be in pairs. the Relationship corner is the southeast corner of your bedroom – place a statue of 2 people dancing or holding each other, it will bring harmony to your love life. Make sure that everything in the bedroom, or your entire house, is clean and free of dust. That brings negative energy or Chi to your life.

A Brief History of the Luggage Trunk and How to Restore Them

When thinking about the history of luggage, you have to know the authentic history of the “trunk,” the granddaddy of the modern piece of luggage, It is also known as a traveling chest, which is a large cuboid container for holding clothes and other personal belongings. It’s typically about 1.5meters wide, and 0.5 meters each deep and high, or about 25″ to 40″ wide, 14″ to 28″ high, and 14″ to 24″ deep. They were most commonly used for extended periods away from home, such as for boarding school or long trips abroad. The trunks although, have been around for thousands of years in China and elsewhere, and the most common styles seen and referred to today date from the late 18th Century to the early 20th, then replaced in the market for the lighter more convenient roll luggage bag.

There are many, many styles of trunks such as Saratogas, Jenny Linds, Monitors, (or Flat-tops) Barrel-Staves, Bevel-tops, Wardrobes, Steamers, Dome-tops, Barrell-tops, Wall Trunks, and even full Dresser trunks. These differing styles often only lasted for a decade or two as well, and – along with the hardware – can be extremely helpful in dating an unmarked trunk. But with the history of the granddaddy luggage “trunk” there has been a recent popularity to find and restore these classics of travel and luggage. Most recently these pieces of luggage have been used as authentic furniture for adding character to homes or as child storage boxes, these older trunks can be found in many antique shops in your local city. With the advent rise if the trunks popularity is also an awakened awareness of restoring these pieces of treasure.

Although, current restoration techniques for trunks are generally limited to either “wood-based”, (where the central metal sheets or canvas is removed, exposing the underlying pine box, which is then stained in some fashion) “metal based”, (where even plain metal panels are left intact) and the almost unheard-of “original” (a true restoration to what it was, including interior wallpaper or otherwise.) Interiors for these may include the original paper being stripped out and replaced with modern or original-style wallpaper, padded or unpadded fabrics, sanding/staining the interior, lining the entire trunk with strips of cedar, or even simple paint. Uninformed restorations will often shred or damage the trunk even beyond the greatest professionals ability to repair, and so you should not attempt to restore your own trunk without research. Also there are times when leaving a trunk intact and original – regardless of its current condition and physical appearance – is the correct action to take.

So the next time you decide on shopping for a piece of luggage [] remember the history and trials and fame of the granddaddy of all modern pieces of luggage the “Trunk”. Because of its legacy and history we can appreciate the convenience of our current pieces we use on a daily basis when we travel, work, exercise, carry our children and just live. Thank you “trunk.”

Milton Herring is a writer, owner and advocate of all things inspirational. If you are traveling or looking for something new to carry your valuables there are great many places to buy your next piece. Consider an online experience that offers great value and product.

Things to Consider When Buying Antique Furniture

Collecting antique furniture pieces are considered as a prime financial investment and a superb way of decorating houses and other sites. As such, many people have considered antique collection as one of the most rewarding hobbies and activities that one can engage in. However, a serious antique furniture collector should take note of the following factors;

The Style of the Antique Furniture

Most antique sellers classify their products through style names such as Louis XV, Queen Anne, and many others. Usually, the style of the furniture piece plays an important role in determining its value. Furniture pieces which have styles and designs which originate from centuries before are considered as more valuable than those which possess more recent designs. Also, the more unique or customized the style is, the more expensive will the furniture piece be.

Moreover, there are designs which have been popularized by notable craftsmen or furniture manufacturers. As such, furniture pieces which carry such popular designs, including those which resemble such, may be more expensive than the usual antique furniture.

The Originality of the Antique Furniture

It is important to determine if a piece is a reproduction or not. One can easily determine if the furniture is an original piece through the hardware that is used in the furniture.

Examine the nails and screws that were used. Note that screws were only used in furniture pieces during the later half of the 19th century. Others shapes, types, and lengths of nails were used in furniture making in varying points in history as well.

If the furniture piece is original, note that its wood dimensions should not be uniform. Some of its parts should have shrunk by as much as an eighth of an inch due to aging. Also, note that the surfaces of the furniture should have suffered from discolouration. An original furniture piece may be affected from uneven exposure to sunlight. As such, it should have significant differences in coloring. Otherwise, the furniture might have undergone repainting or refinishing.

Apart from that, check the edges of the furniture. Note that early years of furniture construction only made use of handsaws. Thus, most old-age furniture pieces have ragged edges. If there are any differences in various pieces of hardware that was used in the piece, it may be a sign that the original parts of the antique have already been replaced.

The Age of the Antique Furniture

This factor is a prime consideration when collecting antique furniture pieces. Usually, the more aged the piece is, the more valuable it will be. Among the most notable periods in the history of furniture construction are Chippendale (mid-to-late 1700s), Empire Period (1830 – 1850) and Victorian (1850 – 1910). Note that one can identify the historical age of the furniture piece according to its style and design.

However, the antique collector should be aware that there are cases when appearance, design, and functionality supersede the value given to the furniture’s age. This is often the case for tables, chairs, cabinets, wardrobes, and other large furniture pieces that are not suitable for mere display and decorative purposes.

Also, in cases where the antique furniture pieces are a product of a notable craftsman, the value of the piece increases along with the complexity and the intricacy of the furniture’s design.

A Lady Gaga Inspired Bedroom Design for a Young Adult

Creative. Conceptual. Quintessential. Sexy. Unique. These are just a few words that can describe Lady Gaga, who was crowned the most powerful celebrity in 2011 (she even beat Oprah!). Gaga is known for her activism, inspiring a “Born this Way” campaign, she has a following of ‘little monsters’, and is even coming out with a clothing line with her little sister, Natali. So it’s not surprising that Gaga’s passion for fashion can easily be translated into design and home d├ęcor.

There are just so many possibilities that I don’t even know where to begin!

One thing definitely applies for design inspired by Gaga: there are no rules! If you’re itching to design a Gaga-inspired bedroom or lounge, remember that less is never best (because with Gaga, you can never have too much!). Just think of her many daring and exaggerated outfits; she is definitely a centerpiece herself. Speaking of centerpieces, I recommend an over-the-top chandelier as a focal piece – such as one of Foucault’s orb crystal chandeliers, it is sure to be a conversation piece in itself. This chandelier (by Restoration Hardware) is reminiscent of Gaga’s orb headpiece that she wore on the Fall Preview Issue (#60) of V Magazine or the Nasir Mazhar designed metal orbs that she wore in 2009 while performing at Saturday Night Live.

Texture is important when creating a Gaga-esque style. You can never have enough texture. Don’t be afraid to mix and match! For example, you can try mixing silky soft bedding, in rich colours like fuchsia, royal purple or deep blue, with textured throw rugs or blankets. I recommend a beautiful sheepskin throw that you can elegantly drape at the foot of your bed to add a splash of colour and a touch of warmth. These rugs are also multipurpose because you can drape them over your chairs to protect the upholstery or add some comfort to your precious derriere. Don’t forget to add some fun to your accessories, like incorporating oversized throw pillows with cutes silk bows on them, which draws from Lady Gaga’s bow hair that she wore during her Poker Face days.

Go crazy with the wall colours. Don’t be afraid to use bold paint colours or even patterned wallpapers (remember to colour block one feature wall boldly with either paint or wallpaper and then mute the surrounding walls). If you’re going for the elegant Gaga look, I suggest using damask-patterned wallpaper in a dark colour, such as black or grey. You can even pick something that has a slight sheen to it. The dark colours will make your accents pop and draw more attention to your focal pieces, like the chandelier. A high gloss pink (or white) lacquered cupboard would not only act as a storage unit for your clothes, but would ground the space giving your colour palatte the ability to pop more. Make sure to include a variety of oversized floor mirrors so you can check yourself out while adding some style. I’m sure that Gaga would approve!

If you’re a guy and don’t want to add some of the frilly design elements, like the bows or “girly” colours, stay in the dark tones – like black, silver, and deep shades of blue (such as navy blue, cobalt blue or midnight blue) which will add more of a typical masculine element to the bedroom. You can even add in a splash of red as an accent colour (try Valentino Red) in some geometric shapes, like some geometric patterned mirrors, that are recurring throughout Gaga’s Poker Face video (and a current theme in her wardrobe, too). Or incorporate a headboard made of leather that is reminiscent of Gaga’s biker-chick look on her Born this Way album.

Whatever your plan is, don’t forget to have fun with it. Gaga is all about fun, freedom, taking risks and being yourself. As Gaga herself would say, “don’t be a drag, just be a queen!”