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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tips To Accessorize and Clean Every Room In Your House


How to Accessorize a Bathroom

Well-chosen accessories can put sizzle in your bathroom's décor. Rotate or rearrange the accessories every month or so to keep the look fresh.

  1. Limit towels to one or two colors (or one pattern plus one solid) to avoid a jarring, laundry-on-the-line look. Bath rugs should match one of the towel colors for a consistent appearance.
  2. Choose a shower curtain carefully. A clear curtain will add to the feeling of openness in a smaller bathroom, but a color can help the room achieve a coordinated look.
  3. Hang a shelf (the space above the toilet is often vacant) to increase storage for items such as neatly folded washcloths and dusting powder. Use small wire, plastic or straw baskets on the shelf to corral small items such as extra razors and soaps.
  4. Place facial tissues in a dispenser that matches one or more other accessories in the room, such as the toothbrush holder or lotion/soap dispenser.
  5. Personalize the room by hanging an inexpensive framed picture or setting out a potted plant. (low-light choices include mother-in-law's tongue and cast-iron plant). If you use a silk arrangement, keep it well-dusted.
  6. Set out items that make scents but are subtle. Options include potpourri and candles, which should be changed seasonally. Use spicy fragrances in fall and winter, and floral scents in spring and summer.

An excellent and decorative towel holder is an old chrome paper towel holder. Just roll up your towels and stack them between the two bars. To personalize this, you can add flowers or whatever around the bars.

I bought a hanging quilt rack with shelves. It looks nice and you can keep your washcloths and knickknacks on the shelf, and hang your towels on the rack.

Warnings:

Never burn a candle unattended. Because a bathroom is usually small, take care to situate the candle away from flammable objects such as curtains and towels.

Shower Curtains

http://www.shower-curtains.org has a wide selection of shower curtains and bathroom accessories to help you create that perfect, relaxing bathroom you desire. A bathroom can be like a small vacation. A shower or bath is not only meant to cleanse you, but should also refresh you, and be a tranquil experience.

It can be hard to relax in the tub when your bathroom is in disarray. Sure, shower curtains serve a practical function by keeping water off the floor, but shower curtains are also essential to the design, motif, and the general "feel" of your bathroom. The shower curtain you have will likely stand out more than anything else in your bathroom^DDLso choose your shower curtains wisely. They can make it or break it, as they say.

Teach Soap

TEACH SOAP is an interesting site for soap making instructions, soap recipes, soap making tips and everything you'd want to know about making soap and other handcrafted products including lip balms, lotions, and more!

From beginners to seasoned soap makers, Teach Soap has something for everyone. From simple soap making recipes, to more complex cold process soap making instructions, their beautifully illustrated soap making tutorials will guide you through each soap making project with clear. step-by-step soap making instructions.

Their soap making experts will provide you with all the tips and tricks you'll need to start and manage your very own soap making business: how to find a good craft show, pricing your soaps, business insurance and even how to re-use your fragrance oil bottles.

For those with some vision, their Soap Maker's Gallery features beautiful soap photos submitted by their readers. Take a peek, get inspired and send in a photo of your soaps today!

Click this link to visit the Teach Soap home page: http://www.teachsoap.com/index.html.

How to Accessorize a Bedroom

The decorating scheme in a bedroom shouldn't bore you to sleep every night. Choose accessories that are attractive as well as functional, but avoid clutter.

  1. Select a bedside lamp that will take a bright bulb if you read at night. A lamp that accepts a three-way bulb (50-100-150 watts) is a solid choice.

  2. Avoid overloading the bedside table. Consider a wall-mounted swing-arm lamp to free up tabletop space if necessary.

  3. Use pillows for decorating and function. They can support your back if you want to sit up and watch television or read.

  4. Coordinate the room by using the same print two or three times in window treatments, pillows, dust ruffle and/or bedspread.

  5. Place a clock where you can view, or reach it it easily. If you're worried about oversleeping, put your alarm clock where you can't turn it off without getting out of bed. Once you're up, you're likely to keep moving.

  6. Hang something decorative on the wall above the head of the bed. A framed picture is a typical choice, but a beautiful textile such as a handmade rug or tapestry, an oversize Asian fan or a collection of pretty plates can work great as well.

  7. Display family photos in well-chosen frames atop dressers and chests of drawers. A collection usually looks best if the frames are made of identical materials, such as walnut-stained wood, white-painted wood or brass.


Warnings:

Place a telephone and a flashlight within reach of the bed. These items can be life savers during an emergency. If you live in earthquake country, don't hang anything heavy or breakable over your bed.

How to Accessorize a Child's Room

Accessorize your child's room with age-appropriate furnishings. Use toys in creative ways and decorate so that maintenance is easy.

  1. Ask older children how they want the room and accommodate them as much as possible. A 12-year-old girl, for instance, may tell you to ditch the dolls; a 7-year-old boy may want his toy cars lined up on a bookshelf.

  2. Add storage for treasures such as action figures, model planes, dolls and stuffed toys. Hang a shelf above a window or a closet door for seldom-used items; other options are bookshelves or wire shelving for closets.

  3. Provide a display area such as a bulletin board for displaying children's artwork and souvenirs such as photos, birthday cards and concert tickets.

  4. Match the bedspread or throw pillows to the window treatment for a coordinated look.

  5. Avoid trendy motifs such as the newest animated movie character for the bedspread, curtains and wallpaper. These looks quickly become dated and are expensive to replace.

  6. Consider a night light to help navigation toward the bathroom or to reassure a young child who's afraid of the dark.

  7. Hang lightweight, fragile items such as model planes and kit dinosaurs from filament line attached to a ceiling-mounted cup hook. This keeps the items out of harm's way but within view.

  8. Display a photo of your child in his or her room; it's a self-esteem builder.


Warnings:

Never leave items with small parts accessible in the room of a young child. They pose a choking hazard.

How to Accessorize a Dining Room

Yank your dining room out of its decorative rut - the traditional table centerpiece and matched pair of candlesticks. Suggestions follow, but use your imagination for some ideas that will have your friends talking!

  1. Purchase a length of beautiful fabric (about 2 1/2 yards for a 54- to 60-inch-long table), tuck the cut ends under the main body of fabric, and scrunch it into an abstract series of billows and pockets on the tabletop. Fill the pockets with bric-a-brac such as beautiful votives, several candlesticks or china figurines.

  2. Set up a minimalist tabletop vignette with a large platter (ideally ceramic or metal) and a couple of pieces of fruit. Two pears, one lying down and touching. Its upright mate, looks pleasing when placed off center on the platter.

  3. Place Grandma's silver tea service in the center of the dining table in a formal room. The silver will look best if put on a big tray or small tablecloth centered on the table.

  4. Buy a flowering plant - chrysanthemums look casual, orchids look formal - and nestle it in a companionable cachepot.

  5. Install candle sconces or electric sconces on the wall. Use the lights to increase drama in the room during special meals.

  6. Hang a mirror on the wall opposite a pretty chandelier to reflect its beauty and its light.

  7. Decorate the tabletop seasonally for holidays you observe. A crystal bowl is pretty when filled with Easter eggs or colored Christmas tree ornaments; a pumpkin and colorful fall leaves (artificial or real) look terrific for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

  8. Place a lamp on a small table near a window, and team it with items such as a vase of fresh flowers and decorative whatnot box for a pleasing vignette. Turn on the lamp during meals; a chandelier often doesn't give off adequate light.



Warnings:

Never leave burning candles unattended.

How to Accessorize a Family Room

A family room is where household members relax and unwind. Some folks may fidget while watching TV, listening to music or even reading, so keep the accessories durable and casual.

  1. Minimize tabletop clutter because items just seem to materialize in the family room. Reading material, discarded shoes, drinking glasses, toys and remote controls usually crowd up tables. One way to contain some of the mess is to place a decorative box on a coffee or end table as a catch-all for equipment remote controls, coasters, stray pens and the like.

  2. Set up a place to stash newspapers and magazines conveniently and neatly. This could be a magazine rack, an ottoman with storage or a big basket.

  3. Arrange books and collectibles creatively if there are bookshelves in the room. Arrange books according to size and color, and intersperse collectibles for maximum attractiveness.

  4. Place a wastebasket handy to seating so you can discard reading material and mail as you finish with it.

  5. Choose lamps that provide ample light for reading. Lamps equipped with a three-way bulb (50-, 100- and 150-watt options) are excellent choices.

  6. Add a large houseplant to soften the look of the room.

  7. Assure comfort by tossing a throw - chenille feels luxurious - onto a chair or sofa for wintertime coziness. Increase year-round lounging comfort with throw pillows.

  8. Add scent with a great candle or potpourri that's changed seasonally - for instance, spice for fall and winter, floral for spring and summer.


Warnings:

Never leave a burning candle unattended.

How to Accessorize a Kitchen

Considering the amount of time most folks spend in the kitchen, the cook's room should be accessorized at least as carefully as any other room in the house. The following are some ideas to give it a smart, pulled-together look.

  1. Coordinate the textiles. First hang a simple, washable curtain if you have a window in your kitchen, then choose pot holders and dish towels that coordinate with other decor such as the curtains, wallpaper, washable area rugs and countertops.

  2. Hang an inexpensive work of art, protected behind glass, that harmonizes with other elements of your decor. Small pieces can be hung on the wall between the bottoms of the cupboards and the countertops.

  3. Check your lighting. Add a better fixture if existing lighting isn't both adequate in light output and attractive.

  4. Minimize counter clutter. Canisters and a bowl for ripening produce are probably the only near necessities, but you may choose to dress up empty counters that are otherwise useless and perhaps add a vase of fresh flowers.

  5. Store scrubbing pads under the sink to improve aesthetics.

  6. Decorate the empty space between the tops of cupboards and the ceiling with washable items such as infrequently used platters and collectibles.

  7. Use decorative dispensers for your dish soap and/or hand lotion.

  8. Improve storage and upgrade decor with an attractive overhead or wall-mounted rack for pots and pans.


How to Accessorize a Living Room

Accessories complete a living room just as they do your wardrobe. Study the room and decide where it's crying out for the personal stamp that accessories will bring.

  1. Study the window treatments. Change them if they're overly formal, overly casual or the wrong scale for your other furnishings. For instance, delicate lace curtains probably won't go with a massive leather tuxedo sofa.

  2. Evaluate your lamps and add to them as needed. Most seating should have lighting accessible from either a table lamp or a ceiling fixture.

  3. Examine your pictures. Hang them low enough over the furnishings that the furniture and the picture can be viewed as a decorating unit. Bigger is usually better with framed pictures.

  4. Minimize clutter unless you have Victorian decor, which glories in bric-a-brac. This will cut down on your dusting, as well.

  5. Use an area rug to define a conversation area within the context of a large living room. Angle the rug for extra decorating drama.

  6. Add pillows and/or a throw. Chenille is cozy in winter - to the sofa unless you're going for the ultimate in minimalist decor.

  7. Introduce a bit of nature with a flower arrangement or houseplants.

  8. Rotate your pictures and other accessories to give the living room a fresh look.


Housecleaning & Housekeeping Advice, Hints and Tips

A nice starting point for the housekeeping-challenged. Pick a topic - bathrooms, carpets and flooring, garages, etc. - and it will offer articles and tips, product reviews, and links to recommended tools, books, and videos.

Click this link to visit http://www.housekeepingchannel.com.

jandofabrics gave us another tip on The Fred's Head Companion:

Here's another easy way to help freshen up or decorate your home. You only need 3/4 yards of fabric for two seats. Recover your old chairs (dining room or kitchen). Just cut and staple. That's it! And all the sudden your old chairs have a fresh new look.

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