If you’re lucky enough to be able to devote a whole room to storing your precious books, chances are you’re hoping to be able to do those books justice. Custom-built bookshelves and book storage is a great way to do this, and there are a few handy tips and tricks you should know before you begin the process of designing your home library.
Use every available corner, surface and scrap of wall space.
Most rooms aren’t completely “standard”. One of the reasons custom-made furniture is such a great choice for home libraries is that you can use every available scrap of space to keep your books in; when your carpenter comes over to take the room’s measurements, get them to measure every corner angle and the spaces above your doors and windows as well as the expanse of your room’s walls. Custom-built bookcases can then be created to take full advantage of all the room available to you.
Give some thought to how best to preserve and protect your books.
Books are of course made of paper and binding, and they don’t last forever. Moisture is the worst culprit for damage to a book collection, so you might want to consider having a dehumidifying unit installed—if you’re having bookshelves custom-made, you can have a cabinet for one built right in to the arrangement to keep it out of sight. Just make sure the door is suitably slatted so that the unit will still work! Sunlight can also be a problem, particularly if you collect antique books or special bindings; ensure your curtains are sufficient protection against potential fading.
Keep things flexible to make adding to your library more straightforward.
Few book lovers ever reach a point where they decide they have completed their collection, so it’s important to have space for your library to expand. The simplest way to do this is to buy a set of markers—one for each letter for fiction and one for each topic for non-fiction—and space them in such a way that you can easily add to your organised collection without needing to move everything around.
Don’t forget to include some room to read and work!
You’re going to want to be able to read, study and work in this room as well as store your books in it, so make sure you leave room for—at the very least—a small desk with a desk chair and a comfortable armchair situated next to a reading lamp. Again, custom-made is perfect for this; if you choose your desk and chair in advance, your carpenter can sketch out a design that works your bookshelves in around them.
If you have to have a tree removed from your garden, you’ll be left with the stump. Instead of having the whole thing removed, why not ask your tree services company to cut you a slice from the stump and upcycle it into a stunning coffee table for use in your home? If you enjoy DIY, you could make the table top yourself, and then commission a local cabinet maker to finish the project for you.
Here’s a quick overview of how to do it.
First of all, you’ll need to put the slice of stump in a cool, dry place to dry out completely. It’s important to allow the wood to dry out gradually so that cracks don’t form in its surface. Keep the slice elevated away from the floor for better drying and to stop mould forming on the underside.
When the wood is dry, you’ll need to get rid of the bark. You can do this by separating the bark from the wood with a sharp chisel and removing a small piece at a time. Once the bark is coming away, you can speed up the process by peeling it off in strips, using a pry bar and your chisel.
Make the table top
You will need the table top to be flat, without any high spots. You can achieve this by using a hand planer and pausing to check your work with a spirit level or a straight edge. To make the table top completely smooth, use a palm sander with a coarse grit paper. Work back and forth across the wood so that you don’t create low areas, and gradually change to finer grain sander discs, until the top is completely smooth. Wipe down the table top with a damp cloth to get rid of any sanding dust.
Finally, you’ll need to apply two coats of wood sealer to the top and sides of the prepared stump slice. Allow the first coat to dry completely, and then sand it using fine grit sandpaper. Apply the second coat of sealant and allow it to dry thoroughly.
Your upcycled tree stump table is now complete and ready for the cabinet maker to add the legs and finish the table for you.
If you have a tree felled in your garden, you could use a slice of the stump to create a beautiful coffee table for use in your home. Follow the guidelines given above and have a chat with a local cabinet maker to discuss how the finished table could look.
Are you looking for the perfect tablecloth for your teak table? If so, there are numerous tips that can guide you to the right tablecloth. While there are multiple factors to take into account, here are some tips to consider:
1. Choose an outdoor rated tablecloth to protect unfinished teak.
One of the reasons teak is such a prized wood is because of its innate ability to resist the effects of rain and other outdoor conditions. However, if you have picked up old teak furniture, it may need a bit of attention before it’s ready to brave the outdoors on its own. Namely, it may need to be sanded and then printed. To protect your table until you get the chance to nurture it with these steps, consider investing in a water-resistant outdoor tablecloth.
2. Don’t use cloth on newly oiled teak.
Teak absorbs oil, and as a result, if you want your teak to really shine, you want to use an oil that has the ability to deeply penetrate. However, just after oiling your teak, it may have a bit of oil on its surface. To ensure this doesn’t leave oily stains on your table cloth, don’t lay fabric like cotton or polyester directly against a teak table that has just been oiled. Instead, use a water-resistant tablecloth as a protective layer and then put the fabric one on the top.
3. Choose colours to offset the undertones in your teak.
When choosing a tablecloth for a teak table, you should look for colours that bring out the beauty of your teak. For example, highlight the rich brown colour of your teak by choosing green or blue tablecloths. Alternatively, if your teak has a silvery patina, complement it with neutral colours like black or white, or for a flashier look, choose jeweled tones of your favourite colours such as cherry red, emerald green.
4. Play with runners.
Teak is largely considered to be one of the most beautiful woods, especially for furniture. If you want to show off the beautiful wood of your teak table, consider opting for a runner. A runner is a thin tablecloth or long mat that runs across the middle of your table. You can even get padded runners that make it easier to put hot dishes in the middle of your table.
If you want more guidance on choosing a tablecloth for your teak table, click here for info on the subject.
It doesn’t matter if you sleep on a fancy mattress or some old thing that you’ve been meaning to replace for years. Your mattress needs to be cleaned and aired out. Doing this on a regular basis will significantly prolong the life of your mattress and is actually healthier for you. You may sweat out a fair amount of moisture each night, which goes straight into your bed linen and mattress. Using a mattress protector will prevent a large amount of this moisture from making its way into your mattress, but it won’t stop it entirely. Your mattress still needs to be periodically cleaned and aired out. There’s no golden rule as to how often this should happen, but the temperature plays a role. So if you live a warmer climate, or you sleep in a heated bedroom, you’re going to sweat more. This means you need to be even more prudent when it comes to airing out your mattress. But how exactly do you do this?
Outside with Sunshine
It’s straightforward enough to air out your mattress if you have a clean outside area where it can be safely deposited. You simply need to drag the mattress outside and let it sit in the sun all day, taking care to turn it over halfway through the cycle. Be sure to keep a careful eye on the weather! If you’re stressed out for whatever reason, airing your mattress out can be a great way to let it all out. Beat your mattress to expel any dead skin, household dust, or dust mites that might be on the mattress. You can use your hands, or something large and flat, like a cricket bat. Don’t use anything with sharp edges as you might tear the upholstery. But what about if you live in a flat with no outside area?
Inside with Sunshine
If you’re in a flat with no backyard (or no balcony), you simply need to drag your mattress to the closest large window and leave it in the sun. The sun is great when it comes to killing bacteria, and it will also kill dust mites (which can cause respiratory discomfort). Don’t beat your mattress, as you will simply be redistributing the dead skin and dust back into your room. You might wish to vacuum your mattress though. It can be necessary to move the mattress several times depending on which window is the sunniest, taking care that both sides of the mattress have time to bask in the sun.
Inside with a Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner is a quick and easy way to clean your mattress, and it will air out as it dries. You need to lean your mattress against the wall and clean one side using the wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Do not use any detergent as you simply want to slightly dampen the mattress before sucking the water out, which is different to a deeper clean with detergent. Allow the mattress to dry before turning it over and repeating the process. Wet/dry vacuum cleaners can be rented from most supermarkets, and smaller handheld models can be obtained cheaply from any appliance shop. They will still be effective, although it will take a little longer to clean the mattress. Feel free to use a specially designed deodorizing spray on the mattress before you leave it to dry, but this is generally not necessary unless the mattress is particularly old. Ensure that everything has dried before you put your mattress back on its base.
Airing out your mattress will make it last longer, and without all that dust (and those dust mites), you might even find yourself sleeping better.
When it is time to move out of your parent’s home for the first time, chances are you are not going to be flush with cash. This means you are going to be carefully considering your budget while furnishing your home, and one way to stretch the budget even further is to buy used goods. Because Australians love to cook outside when the weather lets them, you cannot go past the purchase of a barbeque for your new home’s patio. Weber kettle barbeques are a lovely choice for creating culinary delights, but is there anything in particular that you need to be mindful of before buying a used one? Use this advice to make sure you grab a bargain rather than a bust.
Ask About Age And Use
One of the first questions you want to ask of the seller is the age of the Weber they are selling. If the barbeque is more than 10 years old, you will want to check how much longer the warranty for that particular grill will last. Additionally, ask the seller if they still have the warranty card that came with the barbeque as you will want to take this with you if you buy it.
The age of the barbeque also matters when you ask the seller about how often they used it. A barbeque that is 5 years old but was only used 3-4 times a year has a lot more life left in it than one which is 5 years old and used every weekend.
The next thing you need to do is visually inspect the barbeque. The inside grills and outside handles can easily be replaced by a Weber barbeque dealer if they are damaged. However, if there is any rust that has eaten through the body of the barbeque, then you should walk away from the sale. The main problem of a rusting barbeque body is the safety issue as it could collapse unexpectedly while cooking. Nobody wants a pile of burning coals landing on the patio of their first home.
If there is no rust and the kettle barbeque seems relatively solid, then it is the perfect investment for your first place. Take it home, give it a wash with some hot, soapy water and then you will be all ready to invite your friends and family over for a weber barbeque feast that will make your mum and dad proud.