Japanese Shoji Screens

In Asian décor in the east and west an item called a Japanese Shoji Screen is used as either a room divider or a form of decoration. A Japanese Shoji Screen is a room divider or door that is made up of rice paper fitted to a wooden frame and are made to be light so as it is easy to move them. These screens can be considered works of art because, as with all Japanese art, these screens were built from the earth’s natural beauty. A Shoji screen was used as doors, room dividers, and as privacy screens. Folding screens, like the Shoji Screen, was first introduced by China around the 8th century A.D. China might have invented folding screens but it was Japan who came up with the most popular variations of these screens and introduced them to western countries.
Japanese Shoji screens come in different sizes and each size may serve a different purpose. The use of the screen determined how many folds the screen had. The following list is some of the different sizes of Shoji Screens and what they were traditionally used for:
• Small, two-fold, Shoji screens: these screens were used for things like tea ceremonies.
• Large, eight-fold, Shoji Screens: These screens may have been used as the back drops during dances.
• Sliding Shoji Screens of all sizes were used for doors and/or windows, so as to conserve space and keep with the simplistic designs.
• All sizes and forms of Shoji Screens were used as room dividers, privacy screens, to separate interior and exterior rooms, and even used so as to see the silhouettes of a garden or plants.
• These screens were even used during Buddhist ceremonies.
Traditional Japanese Shoji Screens may have had artwork on them, symbolizing the many Asian and/or Japanese traditions, legends, and the history. This artwork was concentrated at the bottom of the screens because it was customary that people would sit on the floor, so, naturally the artwork was at eyelevel. The art was usually hand painted, and detailed, but still minimal in design, because, all of Japanese art revolves around being simple, natural, and calming
Around the 19th century, the western world began to take notice of the Japanese Shoji Screens, thus began the modernization of the screen. As the demand of Shoji Screens grew more people, who were not as skilled in creating screens, started making them in Japan. The Shoji Screens were still elegant and still had the Japanese design, but were becoming more like Chinese screens. Newer materials and more ornate colors are now used to make these screens because the western world is more relaxed when it comes to the decoration of ones home. Japanese Shoji screens are still used as room dividers, but, they are also used to decorate spaces, to hide things, and maybe be used as window covers. The modern form of Shoji Screens are still very light as to allow them to be moved whenever needed.


Mixing Styles With Country French Antiques

France is known for its innovation in style and fashion in every century. French antiques mark as being highly decorative, elaborate and ostentatious. Great emphasis was placed on decoration and display.
Historically, true French Provincial antiques blended with the farmhouse styles found within different regions of France. This blending became known as French Country Style. Certainly, French Country Style is not a particular period style. Many persons familiar with French antiques have difficulty relating it historically. However, within the design of Country French antiques there are elements of the following periods: a) the Medieval Period; b) the Restoration Period, and the c) Neoclassical Period.
These elements are so well blended that you probably will not recognize each element of style individually. The style becomes original in leaving you with French Country Style. The style represents the farming life of the peasants of France. It later became popular with the middle income earners. In summing up French Country Style furniture, you may say it is a blending of furniture designs from various eras. However, the lines are much more simplistic, the woods more durable and the overall color is lighter.
Country French antique furniture consisted both the sophisticated furniture made in Paris for the royalty, aristocrats and the rich upper bourgeoisie on one hand, and French provincial furniture made in towns that retained the local cultural identity. The rural France had artisans who made furniture that spoke of rural culture and this remained unbroken until the advent of railroads in the mid nineteenth century. All French antique furniture is renowned for its refinement and rich materials and fetches premium prices in auctions.
There was a revolution in the eighteenth and nineteenth century manufacturing industries. An augmented production of furniture increased the popularity of furniture warehouses around the world. The pieces of furniture to gain popularity during these times were tables, commodes, armoires and Chandeliers. French antique furniture can be broadly divided into Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classical revival, rustic and modern periods.
Country French antiques had a highly developed art of wood carving with a conspicuous and ornamental decorations that represent unique Renaissance period. This can be contrasted to the Italian antique furniture that contained more delicate and intricate lace.
Country French antiques may be considered a good option. They are an assemblage of many antique styles, have interesting history, and are ideal for family life. Tables for the kitchen, hutches, and armoires are classic French Country Style items. Due to its history and broad family appeal, French Country antique is a popular choice amongst persons seeking home-style antique furniture.


Colonial Home Interiors

The basis of this really comes from the more nationalistic architectural movement that was in resurgence in many countries of late, and what we are looking at is the style, the temperance and the design elements that are specifically Georgian in nature, and very much from the Victorian class of interior design and architecture that pervaded England for much of the middle centuries.

Talking in context with Singapore, you might realize that much of the influences that we have in many of the buildings come from our old colonial masters before this country gained some measure of freedom, and looking at the structure of some of the buildings that still pepper the grounds of this lion city, including notable notables like the Parliament House, we can see where this influence is coming from in the first place. Now, we can look at some of the common features that are akin to the colonial home interiors that you might be interested in.

For one thing, you can notice the elaborate front doors, often they are very grand and ornate, a mark of class and they make the statement of the house itself. You might also see decorative pediments of the crown nature, and of course, fanlights overhead. These are the more common features that you might have noticed in most colonial houses in Singapore. Windows are the greater features of the colonial house, in the sense that they are often a monument within the house. Windows are often paired or even in threes in these types of houses, and often, they can be found to be adorned and decorated as well. One of the common features of the more older colonial houses are the sun rooms or the porches, which are a natural extension of the house itself.

This is the reclining nature of the 'exterior', though they play as much a part of the interior as anything else in the house. These are the common styles - now talking about color, colonial styles in interior design would often be dominated by whites and cream colors. Dark colors do not play much of a role here, and the houses would be as clean as possible in the form of the palate. More so to the point, the maximum brushes of the house would include no more than three colors, with furniture that either complement or match - they never clash.

These, in essence are some of the features of the colonial home interiors, and if you are looking to redo part or all of your modern house in such a style, then you would need to re look at the Georgian style in London and perhaps look into some research before you actually embark on such a project. In the end of the day, the look is hard to achieve, but done right, can add much regality and classical beauty to your otherwise contemporary house. To find out more about this sort of design, all you need to do is to go online and look for more information.

Author: Andy C. Anderson


A Comparison of Art Prints and Reproductions: Learn the Difference

If you collect art or enjoy decorating your walls with paintings, you might be wondering what the difference is between art prints and oil painting reproductions. These terms are used interchangeably in the art world often, but they can differ greatly. Knowing the difference is important when you're considering an art purchase.

Art Prints Defined

Art prints are identical copies of original works of art, often produced by a photomechanical process. The word "giclee" is used to describe the method of reproducing art using a printing process. Making prints is similar to making a photocopy of a hand-written letter instead of rewriting it. You have a copy of the handwriting, but not an actual hand-written letter. Artists often create prints in limited editions, and sign each painting. Prints are coveted by collectors who wish to invest in art for future profits.

Oil Painting Reproductions Defined

Oil painting reproductions are hand-painted recreations of original works of art, created by someone other than the original artist. A skilled artist analyzes the original and paints a closely matching replica. Reproductions are painted with oil paint on canvas to create an amazing resemblance to originals. Reproductions are often preferred over prints when used in decor because they are usually very affordable.

When searching for art, you might encounter these terms being used interchangeably. For instance, a print might be called a reproduction also. Technically, a print is a reproduction because it is a copy. However, a reproduction might not always mean "print." If you feel the term reproduction is being used to describe a print, you might want to ask questions before buying to be sure you're getting the right type of painting.

In a nutshell, art reproductions are actual paintings, only not by the original artist. Prints are copies of the original work. If you want real paintings without a high investment, reproductions provide both. If you're looking to invest for future profits or to build a collection, and are unable to buy an original, prints are the next best thing.

Author : daviddg

Floor Lamps for Kids Rooms

There are some great designs available for kids bedrooms these days, from beds fashioned into fire engines or JCB's and stools resembling zebras, to racing car wardrobes and jungle table and chair sets. If money is no problem then you can have loads of fun decorating your child's room to make it a fun and exciting place to be.

There are lots of colourful and quirky options available in the high street stores and online. Kids love themes, you can find bedspreads, curtains, and rugs following the same theme then match them with desk and floor lamps all decorated with the same cartoon character, superhero, sports, jungle animals or fairy tale scene.

Sports, princesses, cartoons and the latest superhero are some of the most popular themes for younger kids, furnishing their room how they like will encourage them to use it for entertaining their friends and doing their homework. The area needs to be a place that they enjoy being in and offer a personal space they can take their friends and do their own thing, the décor and furnishings can help to achieve this. There is even themed wallpaper available, for girls check out the magical fairies or horse and pony mural, whereas the boys get space adventures and dinosaurs.

Lighting is an important element in any room for functional and aesthetic reasons. A child's room will need a bright main light to see clearly by and soft lighting for relaxation. If the child is older then the light will need to be sufficient for them to do their homework and read without straining their eyes, if younger then a nightlight is a good idea for those who don't like to sleep in the dark.

Ceiling lights can generate an ambient glow in your child's room, you can find those with a flush fitting for a low ceiling or one with a theme, novelty or character such as a football, a mobile and light combined, rocket shaped low energy ceiling lights, and various bright designs using halogen spotlights.

Safety is a major element to consider when choosing light fixtures for children's lighting, they need to be bright enough to see clearly, but also they need to be out of reach of inquisitive hands. If you are buying table lamps ensure the bulb is covered so they can't try to touch it.

For very young children in a nursery, you can install night lights to give a soft illumination during the night and provide a source of comfort should the child wake up. Choose from Winnie the Pooh battery operated night lights or Nemo or Disney princess for really cute ideas that will comfort them. There are lots of energy saving light fittings available too, check out for lamps and lights that offer this feature and you'll save money and educate your child about helping to reduce damage to the planet. Look for the Energy Saving Trust Certification Mark on lighting products to ensure the meet the current regulations.

Floor lamps are a simple way to add light and décor to your child's room and come in modern and fun designs and shapes, with various sizes available you're sure to find something suitable. They are great for highlighting a particular area of the room, you could even create a reading corner using them, they'll throw extra light onto a working space if your child has homework to complete, or just provide a softer light when it's time to wind down.

Look online for your children's bedroom light fittings and appliances and you'll find premier suppliers offering a huge selection for kids. Prices are very low online, often up to 75% than those found on the high street. Choose the right illumination for your child's room and transform it into a personal space for them where they can sleep, play and learn.

Author: Kathryn Dawson

Picking the proper Living Room Furniture for Small Rooms

If you might have minimal area and you happen to be concerned of which makes it too crowded with living room furniture, read on. This informative article should be to give you tips of how you can make your room appear bigger.


In case you reside in a small apartment, you may perhaps consider there may be very little you are able to do to have high quality and relaxing furniture that is also within your budget. The good news is that you'll find a lot more than a number of outlets that cater to this current market. Appear around even for the brief time on the web and you might uncover numerous locations who have furniture created a scaled for that smallest condo spot.

Model of Furniture
As you can possibly notify, the model of living room furniture you choose will make a big difference on how your living room appears. You may swiftly be capable of inform if particular coffee tables or chairs will fit when you consider an account in the room. Even with the identical chair layout, a lighter colour will brighten up the room as a result can make the room look more substantial than darker shades. Similarly, apparent transparent acrylic furniture pieces, which possess the least existence or visual excess weight, would be the greatest when you have really restricted place.

If you are modern day furniture fan, then congratulations! Soon after the boom of modern-day acrylic furniture patterns, there is a good wide variety of this type of furniture accessible inside the current market. From accent table to bar stools, acrylic items are supplied for your full merchandise line too.

Versatility of Utilizes
It might be better to focus on living room furniture that is versatile. If you would like to have sofas & loveseats, why do not you pick sleepers which have a bed hidden in them? Do not take too lightly the use of ottomans. Not only are they a good way to prop your feet up in front of the sofa or chair, but you are able to use them for additional seating. It is possible to find a comfy ottoman that works fine when you could have lots of people over to visit.

The kind of chairs or end table you select may possibly be less based on the fabric and far more on whether they could be used no matter the size constraints in the living spot.

The Full Picture
Finding the most effective living room furniture when place is an issue in your apartment might mean generating some concessions or paying discount prices for something when it will work far better for your apartment. Whether it is building a total look using individual pieces or finding those living room collections made especially for house use, you might uncover what the right combination in case you take the time to conduct a great search. The major ingredient in locating the proper furniture is usually to know what you would like while understanding what the place demands.

If you ever know this, there exists no factor that a hunt for living room furniture has to become mired in drudgery and problem. What spend your time messing with furniture that does not work in your studio apartment? You need to find locate pieces that both accent your living spot but also keep things moving. Overall, your picture should be one with ease of motion and the ability to adapt based upon on the special employs you put to your furniture.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleBlast.com


Benefits Abound with a Modern Kitchen

By standard definition, a modern kitchen is any kitchen that uses electricity or natural gas. So technically speaking, I guess every kitchen in the western world is known as a modern kitchen. However for the purposes of this article, we're going to expand the definition and focus on the conveniences of modern kitchen design and the benefits that you can potentially enjoy every day no matter your lifestyle.

When you think of modern, no doubt you have a rush of images from sleek designs to state-of-the-art technology. Here are just a few categories to get you focused and narrow your definition of modern kitchen ideas.

Technology is typically the first association people make with the word 'modern.' And if you want your kitchen to be technologically advanced you will focus on computer chipped appliances and computers. Today appliances use computers to set temperatures, timers, food expiration dates, and even alerts for inventory restocking. A modern kitchen may very well include a large flat screen TV to display recipes, family calendars, household schedules, and it's certainly more fun to cook while watching videos, searching websites, or listening to music.

While technology can pose an image of cold and uninviting, a modern kitchen embraces state-of-the-art innovation with classic design ideas - clean lines, clear countertops, bold colors, contrasting design elements, and simple shapes. A modern kitchen can be both a technologically advanced and warm and inviting space.

Cabinetry of a modern luxury kitchen will distinctly lack extra features found in traditional style designs. Most modern cabinets are simple, square or rectangular shaped, without fancy door handles. Although 'plain' the look of the cabinetry is sleek, clean, and highly functional. The look is all about working properly and showcasing your personal style. In fact, you may wish to completely leave cabinet doors off for the sheer convenience of access and sexy open look.

Appliances in your new kitchen need not be the most recent release from a major appliance company. While having the fancy new refrigerator or the hottest new 5 burner cook top may be nice, does it fit into your overall decorating scheme and budget? Believe it or not, a retro refrigerator, if working properly, could be the right fit for your new kitchen. Even your kitchen hood exhaust fan from a different time period can work, as long as it functions fine and does not pose a danger to the rest of your house.

Use this checklist for the appliances you have or might need to replace:
Oven / Microwave / Dishwasher / Wine Cooler
Hood / Refrigerator / Washer , Dryer / Waste Disposal
Cook top / Freezer / Coffee Machine / Instant Hot Water Tap
Sink & Tap / Fireplace , Hob / Wet Bar / Blender, Food Processor

Furniture in a modern kitchen should be simple in shape, multi-functional, and bold in color. Modern kitchen furniture will not include carved legs, multi-colored patterned cushions, or seats made of many parts. Modern style by definition means full of straight line and not a lot of fuss.

Modern décor means little to no art work is required for a modern kitchen design. The decoration is the furniture and cabinetry and it's typically limited to a one or two color scheme. A one color scheme means everything, cabinets, furniture, and appliances, is a single color. A two color scheme is one in which the walls and cabinets are one color but the appliances and furniture are a second color, usually a highly contrasting color.

Whether it's a few touches or a complete new kitchen, you can create a modern kitchen successfully as long as you express your personal style and the space makes you happy.
Remodeling Benefits

As the housing stock ages and new construction prices rise, more and more people are remodeling their homes than any other time in history. If you live in a house that you generally love and it's located in a desirable neighborhood, remodeling makes good financial sense. What's the primary benefit you might derive from a new kitchen?
1. Functionality - add a walk-in pantry, re-design counter space, and make room for your laptop and printer - anything that complements your lifestyle.
2. Interaction - open up your kitchen to the other adjoining rooms, a new island can be a comfortable place for early morning coffee chats and late evening wine tasting.
3. Safety - reduce risks of accidents and make your much-used room safe. Modify countertop heights to reduce back strain and use green materials to improve indoor air quality.
4. Storage - a well-designed kitchen remodel can greatly increase your storage space and ability to keep organized.
5. Entertaining - enjoy the fun of entertaining people in your new space.
6. Resale - According to realtors, the kitchen and bath are the most important rooms in the house to potential buyers. Reports show that a kitchen remodel can return up to 85% of its cost upon resale.
7. Style - it's all about you and the beautiful things you appreciate. Make your kitchen a happy place to spend time.

Whether practical, functional, or desirable, fitting your kitchen with an updated look can make any old modern kitchen into a new modern luxury kitchen expressly designed for you. After all, technology waits for no one.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleBlast.com