10 Modern House Design Tips and Features

House design is a very unique process that needs to be completed properly so that people end up with the results that they expect and deserve. In order to make sure that your home is as modern as your tastes are, here are 10 tips and features to keep in mind during the designing and planning stages:

1 – The kitchen affects the rest of the home more than most people realise. You have to determine the layout and the features that you want here before you look at any other rooms because the kitchen is the hub of many homes.

2 – Design your living space to be open, with as much natural light as possible. Use windows and fewer walls to allow more natural light to flow in.

3 – Always make sure that function is the priority. Modern home planning is based on function. Make the space as useful as possible so that you don’t have to add as much furniture later.

4 – Look for areas where you can add style and function at the same time. Getting a great design that works for your needs is a win-win for everyone.

5 – Consider whether you want a formal dining space or just a breakfast nook or bar. Some people like both, while others will choose one or the other. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get what you need.

6 – Figure out where your television will go in the living area and design around it. While this might sound like a lot of power for such a small device, the TV is generally the centre of your living room and needs to have a space so that it is useful and accessible.

7 – Think about windows, where you want them and how many you want. Windows are important in modern home construction and will allow you to get the perfect amount of light for your needs.

8 – Create solutions specifically for storage of the things that you need or do daily, such as crafts, hobbies, or activities.

9 – Modern home design features open layouts, but careful planning is key in keeping your layout open and not overcrowding it with stuff.

10 – Make sure that every style element and feature speaks to your tastes and needs. This is your home, after all, and it should reflect your tastes and daily life.

These are all important tips to keep in mind when it comes to house design. Modern homes have many unique features and elements to consider, but all that really matters is that you get a home that you love.

Basics in Storage Shed Building Plans

basics-in-storage-shed-building-plansThere are some things that we think we could not do ourselves. This leaves us to question ourselves on how to obtain what we want, either we buy it or just forget about it. However, thanks to our reliable source of information, the internet, we now have access to the knowledge required to do things ourselves.

Outdoor sheds are some of the things that we can think of; where we are faced of the challenge to either just buy it or build it. What’s good about buying it is that we get to use it immediately however if we build it then we get personalize it, enjoy the sense of fulfillment and we get to save. Here are some of the basic things that you have to make in order to create a simple yet professional looking shed. These are the basics in storage shed building plans.

First is to think about in storage shed building plans is your shed’s design. You have to base this on your state’s zoning regulations. This is why it is important to get a building permit first. The design should follow your place’s zoning regulations. Second is to think about where you would build the shed. Choose a strategic are in order to avoid any troubles in the future. Consider the pipelines, gas lines and electrical lines that run underground. Avoiding these lines is the best place to setup your shed.

Once you have the design make sure that you start things methodically, it is necessary in storage shed building plans. Start with the bedrock, next is the floor, wall and the roof. The secret to a well made shed is the accurate assembly of all four basic structures of the shed. This can be done simply by building them separately and one at a time.

First thing that you can build would be the foundation. The foundation should be strong enough to carry the combined weight of the floor, walls, roof and any additional items. The more concrete slabs you use for your foundation, the more stability you get. You can also opt to add rocks around your foundation to increase its tenacity.

Second is the floor, you can use any type of wood. Make sure that the wood you use is smoothened in order to prevent any accidents. Hard woods are perfect for flooring. It would be advisable as well to elevate the floor in order to avoid the damp ground; this will preserve the wood longer.
Third is the wall, attaching the wall is tricky. However, you can diagonally nail a wood beam for temporary support. The walls would be able to support the roof only until all for corners are formed. Next is the roof. The trusses are the key to a good roof. It has to be made of strong material in order to support any hazard caused by the climate. Windows and ramps can be added later.

How Can I Connect With My Stepson/Stepdaughter?

The step relationship requires special care and cultivating. As long as you recognize that connecting with your stepson/stepdaughter doesn’t happen automatically, and there are some things to look out for, you can begin to develop a great relationship with him or her! Here are some tips for connecting:

• The best rule of thumb is to go slowly. Understand that you will need to invest time in the step relationship; expecting instant results is not only unreasonable, but is likely to backfire and create more problems. Begin by building a positive and caring relationship, and be sure to allow for the parent and child to have their own time together outside of the step relationship, too.

• Allow your stepchild to express her feelings – good, bad or ugly. Easy to say, but hard to do: listen without taking it personally. In fact, listening – rather than talking, instructing, or disciplining, is the first and most important step to connecting. Once your stepchild’s negative feelings are out in the open, there’s room for the positive ones to come forth. Consider it a necessary “cleansing” process.

• The stepparent who throws him or herself into the parent role, especially the role of disciplinarian, is likely to meet a good deal of resistance from the stepchild. Often this resistance will be more passive or result in acting-out, as opposed to outright rebellion. So, back to rule #1: go slowly.

• If you don’t have children of your own or children around the age of your stepchild, educate yourself on developmental stages. Then you can understand better what your stepchild is going through. This gives you a benchmark that can be really handy when you and your spouse might be arguing about whether their behavior is “out of bounds” or “normal”.

• Give your stepson or stepdaughter the benefit of the doubt – their internal world might be overwhelming and quite conflicted. They are coping with many pressures at the same time: developmental changes, relationships with peers, academic pressure, emotional fallout from their parents’ divorce, all in addition to getting used to having a new parent figure. Cut your stepson or stepdaughter some slack, and listen to them.

• Your stepson or stepdaughter may be growing in their trust, connection and love for you, but feel that by doing so they are being disloyal to the parent in the other home. You can help to resolve this tension by honoring their relationship with that parent, and not contributing in any way to the conflict. Beware of trying to compete with that parent; know that your child will be most served by having healthy relationships with all the parents in their lives.

• As much as you might wish to be seen as, or loved as, your stepson’s or stepdaughter’s parent, the maxim that “blood is thicker than water” will always hold. In fact, it will even hold when you are better at parenting, care more about your stepchild, do more for, and spend more time with your stepson or stepdaughter, than the parent does. Remembering this as the “bottom-line” will be a great foundation for you as a stepparent.

• Lastly, get to know your stepson or stepdaughter. Meet them on their level – do things with them that they like. Learn about their interests. Acknowledge what you appreciate about him or her, and honor their uniqueness. You will give your stepchild a huge gift by letting him or her know you accept them for who they are, and don’t expect them to become someone they are not. Accentuate the positive!

It takes a good deal of maturity and a big heart to be the adult in a step relationship. Becoming educated about what to watch out for is one part of the solution. Add good communication skills and a positive approach. The rest of the formula for success includes a pile of patience, a touch of tolerance, and a magnanimous heart! But once you have developed a step relationship that feels comfortable and harmonious, the satisfaction is enormous – and is worth all the effort.

Best Place to Deal with AIA Documents

If you are working in the field of construction or architecture, you might be quite familiar with AIA documents or the American Institute of Architects. Yes, indeed, this kind of document is the one which will cover all of the agreements which are made by the developers and the constructers. Perhaps, you can relate this kind of documents to the contracts since the documents can also cover such matter.

However, you also need to know that the function of the documents is bigger than that. All of the sides which are connected to the construction work or project can use the documents as the guidelines of the agreements. Well, if you are going to deal with this matter, it is recommended for you to use the service from Constructionbook.com. The website will make sure that you can get the documents that will definitely meet your need and expectation.

The contents of the documents are so great and easy to be understood. For addition, the contents are not so strict. Some points can be adjusted to meet the needs of certain condition of the projects so all of the sides can be really satisfied with such matter. Therefore, by considering all of the things that have been mentioned before, it is sure that you need to visit the website as soon as possible.

Best Birthday Gifts for Men: Simple Ways to Make Your Stepdad’s Birthday Special

If you are one of the lucky few who have a wonderful stepdad who treats you as if you were his own flesh and blood, then it’s understandable why you would want to give him the best birthday gifts for men that you can find. It’s not often that one develops a great relationship with a stepfather. Having your mom remarry and getting a “replacement” dad can be hard for most kids.

We often think that having a stepdad means that your mom has no time for you, that you are not a priority anymore. Things are different and all of a sudden, there is a new man in your life. Change can definitely be difficult.

But sometimes, certain people come into your life and make things brighter. If your stepdad happens to be one of those people, then let him know how much he means to you. If his birthday is coming up, this is the perfect time to show him how much you appreciate his love and concern.

For his birthday, more than any material gift, here are some things you can do around the house to make his day special. These simple things will let him know how thankful you are for his presence in your life.

The first thing you can do is have his morning coffee and paper ready for him when he wakes up. This simple act will not go unnoticed. He will appreciate the thoughtful gesture and know how much you care for him.

You can also wash his car so that when he goes to work, he will have a spanking clean ride. He will be proud to show it off to his colleagues and tell them that this was the product of all your hard work.

You can mow the lawn and sweep the backyard to make the outside of your house neat and inviting. This will be a nice welcome when your stepdad comes home from work.

If the garage needs a little clean up, go ahead and organize it. Have your stepdad’s tools arranged in an orderly manner so he can easily find them. Put boxes on the shelves and try to make things as neat as possible.

Help your mom prepare a special birthday dinner for your stepdad. While having dinner, you can present him The Bass and Dragonfly Wall Art. This magnificent wall art with unique marquetry will impress him especially if he loves fishing.

Offer to do the dishes after eating. This will allow your stepdad and mom to enjoy some quiet time together. Once you have done the dishes, don’t forget to take out the trash.

If your stepdad has a dog, offer to walk and feed his dog. If he insists on walking the dog, you can accompany him instead for more bonding time together.

These are just simple yet meaningful ways to let your stepdad know that you love him. Loving stepfathers are rare treasures that you do not find often and on his birthday, you want him to realize that he is now and will always be family.

This article on celebrating a loving stepdad’s birthday in a unique way instead of hunting high and low for best birthday gifts for men that could be impersonal was written by Rachel Manalo of MarqART Gift Shop.

Our wood designs are original works of art, no two creations are the same. Each wood shown has its own unique wood grain pattern and color. MarqART comes from combining the words marquetry (wood inlay) + Art (a creation of beauty) an apt name for our products. A fine addition to your dressing table or as a gift.

Consoling Siblings Who Go To Different Homes During The Summer

Summer is well under way and lots of kids are now traveling back and forth to spend time with their other parent. It’s not easy managing all the travel schedules, especially if you happen to have more than one stepchild and more than one biological parent to deal with. Also, siblings that don’t have the same parents find it difficult to stay in contact with each other over the summer months and may even be home sick for each other.

How do you console the children who have to say goodbye to each other during the summer or at other times of the year? How do you keep the long distance relationships alive? Here are a few suggestions to help you and the children keep that connection going and to create memories along the way:

  • First, discuss scheduling with the other parent. Find a time that works for everyone to either do video Skype or Facebook chat. These are free services you can use to keep the kids in touch with one another. The purpose of this is so the kids get to “see” each other and keep their connection alive. Don’t overdo it and create more problems than you solve. This distracts the child from actually spending time with a parent they don’t get to see often and may cause resentment if one sibling is having fun and the other is not. The purpose here is just to stay connected and not detract from the visit.
  • Do a photo montage of the children together in different activities and put it in a frame. The children can each have this picture of each other at their homes and look at it whenever they get lonely. They can create a little ritual at bedtime of saying goodnight to everyone. (Remember the Waltons? John Boy would always be the last person to say good night and even when he wasn’t there, the family would still say good night to him.)
  • Buy a digital picture frame that allows you to upload a video message. This lets the child know you love them and wish them a great time with mom/dad. You don’t want your child to be miserable the entire time they are visiting their other parent. The best thing you could do for your child is to wish them a great time. Let them know that you and the other children will be OK at home and that you will look forward to seeing them when they come back. This prevents the children from feeling guilty about being away and having fun while everyone else is at home.
  • Prepare a journal or a little scrap book for photos with room for the child to write notes about his/her time away, to share with the family when he/she comes back. Children often “forget” what they just did and when asked, their typical response is “nothing.” Try to encourage the other parent to help the child fill the scrapbook with little mementos so that the child will remember the good times long after they have passed.
  • When the children all come together again, have an evening where everyone gets to share what their vacation/trip was like. Do a show and tell. Set a time limit or ask leading questions to keep a child on track if he might want to brag a little too much to siblings who had no grand adventure. What this sharing will do for a child will cement memories that will carry them for a very long time.

Sharing our life experiences with those who love us and care for us strengthens our family bonds. It also brings us closer to one another and creates trust and love. When children have a place to talk and share their feelings, they grow up knowing they can trust you, the parents. They don’t lie or cheat because you are willing to listen to what the children do in all areas of their lives, including at their other parents.

It also helps children to become more resilient in life, to know that sometimes we need to do things that we might not always enjoy or that are not always easy, but we know they are the right things to do.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Claudette Chenevert also known as “The Stepmom Coach” provides advice, support and guidance to those women who are entering the “Instant Family” realm, feeling overwhelmed, misunderstood and isolated.

Claudette is a contributing writer for Xpanded Family Magazine and Diva ToolBox and co-authored a book “Celebrating Moms and Motherhood”. Claudette is an active participant on many Facebook groups and has her fan page at http://www.facebook.com/ClaudetteChenevert.StepmomCoach.

For more on how to transition from Surviving to THRIVING, one STEP at a time, go to http://www.stepmomcoach.com and sign up for the FREE audio “The 3 Biggest Mistakes Stepfamilies Make”

Organising A Fancy Dress Garden Party

Summer is the season for social gatherings, garden parties, barbeques and a general good get together. If your birthday or other happy event happens to fall on the sunshine months, you probably go that extra mile when organising your party.

Having a party when the weather is nice means you can invite a few more guests than normal. Extending the gathering to the garden is a great way to ensure your house doesn’t get ruined, you can even throw in some party games without the fear of it getting a bit messy. Just shut the doors of the house and let your guests have fun in the garden.

Fancy dress summer parties
For those fun loving party animals you may consider a fancy dress party, you could even go with a set theme such as the Wild West or famous film characters fancy dress. Seeing all your friends and family dressed up is a great laugh. Uncle Bob who is never seen without his suit gets to be a cowboy for the night in his chequered cowboy fancy dress costume and your mum gets to let her hair down in her cowgirl outfit. What could be more fun? Just make sure you have your camera handy! If you decide to go for stars of the screen you will have great fun researching your favourite characters such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and even those lovable Disney characters.

What about the kids?
Kids love to get involved with the adult celebrations and they certainly enjoy dressing up. If you have lots of little ones in your family you may want to consider a bouncy castle to keep them all entertained whilst you let your hair down. The best bit is, after bouncing round all night, the kids will be ready for bed having worn themselves out.

Party food
For those of you having a themed party why not make the food themed too. Your guests will love sampling dishes from around the world, you get to impress with your culinary skills. If you are having a Hawaiian party you could serve your cocktails in coconut shells, for Mexican themes you can get your guests taste buds flowing with delicious spicy tacos.

It’s always the small touches that make a great party. Your guests really notice how much effort you have put in. By planning ahead and concentrating on the fun factor, your party will be remembered for a very long time to come.

Glow Necklaces – Popular Night Time Party Items

Glow necklaces are one of the popular glow accessories. These attractive and funky accessories generally are available in single and assorted colors and can match with any kind of outfit, giving a cool appeal to the person wearing them. Further, they can even be used as decorative items in night parties. You can decorate your tables and chairs by outlining them with glow necklaces.

This article helps you know more about glow necklaces and why they are considered as popular night-time party items.

Glow necklaces are circular tubes filled with nontoxic chemicals, which when activated emit energy in the form of light. The chemicals inside the glow necklace will undergo chemiluminescent reaction which emits colorful light but not heat. As they do not emit any heat or sparks, they can be safely worn on the body. They emit light till the chemicals are used up.

Everyone loves glow necklaces – from kids to grand parents They are a hit among people of all age groups. Wearing these necklaces is fun and exciting for kids. Since they are colorful, bright, highly comfortable, light weight, and cool they can be used safely by the kids in night parties.

Teenagers are more likely to wear them as they are fun, trendy, attractive, and economical. They can be easily matched with their outfits. Both boys and girls can use them as trendy fashion accessories in parties, pubs, clubs and raves.

People of all age groups can wear these glow necklaces for parties and other events. Moreover, they are of great help when worn while playing night golf, fishing, jogging in twilight or cheering your favorite team in a game.

Available in different colors and sizes They are available in single colors like green, blue, orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. They are also available in multi-colors like red-white-blue, red-green-blue, purple-green-yellow, etc.

Every color has its specific use like pink can be worn on Valentine’s Day or weddings, orange on Halloween’s, red-white-blue on Independence Day, and yellow in emergency situations as it is brighter.

In general, glow necklaces are 11 inches or 22 inches in length with a varying diameter of 5-6 mm. The amount of chemical also varies with the size and color of the necklace.

Nontoxic and non flammable Glow necklaces are very safe to use. The chemicals used in them are nontoxic. Even if the chemical comes in contact with the skin due to any leakage in the tube, it causes no harm. But it is always better to keep them out of children’s reach as their skin is very much sensitive and they might get irritated easily.

They are non flammable too. No matter how hot the surrounding temperature is, they do not produce any fumes or fire. Even if the tube is punctured or broken, they are absolutely harmless. However, it is always better to dispose the glow products once they are used.

Credibility of the retailer, from whom you buy, should also be considered as few retailers sell cheap glow sticks made from recycled plastic which may cause harm.

Look great with other glow products Glow jewelry, particularly glow necklaces ultimately give a fashionable look in the night parties. You can make yourself standout at a night party by wearing these items along with other glow products like glow bracelets, bunny ears, and eye glasses.

Glow necklaces can be used for various purposes in parties – as party favors, decorative items and costume jewelry. Moreover, they are cheaper in price compared to other glow products. This has made them popular in fund-raising events, Halloween parties, night parties, Fourth of July celebrations, etc.

The Tennessee based Premier Glow offers a wide section of glow sticks, glow necklaces, and all LED toys at affordable prices. They supply only premium quality glow sticks that are 100% safe and sell them at wholesale prices.

Create the Perfect Home Bar

create-the-perfect-home-barWith the rising cost of nights out, BBQ’s and home parties are on the increase. For any social gathering or just for the drink connoisseur a home bar is essential, so how do you go about getting the home bar of your dreams.

Home bars can be installed in any room of the house, you just need to put thought into the design. location, personalisation and cost.

Dream the dream.

Let your imagination run wild, create a wish list and allow yourself to include everything you have ever wanted, designing a home bar form scratch means that you don’t have to compromise. From your wish list you can whittle down your requirements depending on your home, the space you have available and your budget. You need to consider your home décor, how you entertain your friends and what your personal tastes are.

Think about the cost.

You need to consider how much money you invest before you begin, installing a bar can be a quick weekend job or may involve a more in-depth building project, it is important to establish what level of work is involved and commit to the necessary budget.

Location, location, location

Where you decide to place you bar is very important, it is no good installing it behind the back of a door that leads into the garden as there will always be clashes, neither is it a good idea to locate it at the bottom of the stairs if you have young children where noise can travel. Good locations include recreation rooms, garages, sheds, gardens, and dining rooms, but be mindful of important factors such as plumbing for sinks and power sources for refrigeration, blenders and other equipment.

It’s all about the size and shape.

Standard dimensions for home bars are about 42 inches tall and about 24 inches deep, and barstools are around 30 inches tall, but you need to make sure that your bar is high enough for your stools so you guests can sit and drink comfortably. Popular options for home bar designs are straight, L Shape, round or kidney.

Now there is nothing to stop you browsing the internet, taking a trip to your local shops, picking up interior design magazines to help you create your home bar wish list, if you need any help choosing your bar there are plenty of resources on the internet to help you get started.

10 Modern House Design Tips and Features

modern-homes-plansHouse design is a very unique process that needs to be completed properly so that people end up with the results that they expect and deserve. In order to make sure that your home is as modern as your tastes are, here are 10 tips and features to keep in mind during the designing and planning stages:

1 – The kitchen affects the rest of the home more than most people realise. You have to determine the layout and the features that you want here before you look at any other rooms because the kitchen is the hub of many homes.

2 – Design your living space to be open, with as much natural light as possible. Use windows and fewer walls to allow more natural light to flow in.

3 – Always make sure that function is the priority. Modern home planning is based on function. Make the space as useful as possible so that you don’t have to add as much furniture later.

4 – Look for areas where you can add style and function at the same time. Getting a great design that works for your needs is a win-win for everyone.

5 – Consider whether you want a formal dining space or just a breakfast nook or bar. Some people like both, while others will choose one or the other. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get what you need.

6 – Figure out where your television will go in the living area and design around it. While this might sound like a lot of power for such a small device, the TV is generally the centre of your living room and needs to have a space so that it is useful and accessible.

7 – Think about windows, where you want them and how many you want. Windows are important in modern home construction and will allow you to get the perfect amount of light for your needs.

8 – Create solutions specifically for storage of the things that you need or do daily, such as crafts, hobbies, or activities.

9 – Modern home design features open layouts, but careful planning is key in keeping your layout open and not overcrowding it with stuff.

10 – Make sure that every style element and feature speaks to your tastes and needs. This is your home, after all, and it should reflect your tastes and daily life.

These are all important tips to keep in mind when it comes to house design. Modern homes have many unique features and elements to consider, but all that really matters is that you get a home that you love.