Eclectic Homes

Guest Picks: Sophisticated Bedroom Finds for a Single Guy

I read a post a couple of months back about a new niche group of clients for interior designers — single and educated men seeking to create more trendy living spaces. The standard-issue down comforter, Star Wars and Bob Marley posters, and thrift shop couches are being traded for something a bit more sophisticated. My own single brother asked for artwork for Christmas, so it appears like some growing up has happened. My mother and I recently set out to make a sophisticated and stylish bedroom for my bro, and here’s what we came up with. — Sarah from The Estate of Matters

Thom Filicia Inc..

Thom Filicia has a manner with casual and modern rooms. This is a great example of the mix of neutral, muted tones in what I consider to be a manly area.


Macausland’s Blanket – GBP 175

I keep watching the wool camp blanket over and over again. I adore its homespun appeal mixed with a classic stripe.

Cost Plus World Market

Courtney Bed – $599.99

The marriage of upholstery and wood with this bed will stand the test of time.

Lands’ End

Tailored Hotel Embroidered Dot Duvet Cover – $109

I’d like to use a classic resort sham and sheet set that can pair well with any accent blanket as tastes change.


Rattan Trunk Basket – $598

Stow away pillows, additional bedding or filthy clothes in this rattan trunk positioned at the end of the bed.

West Elm

Supply Kudu Table Lamp – $169

I love the sculptural shape of the lamp. In a subtle manner, in addition, it mimics antlers. It will look great on a tall dresser as part of a vignette.


2013 Moon Calendar at Night Sky Silkscreen Printing by Rendij Studio – $15

I like the picture quality and the deep azure of the lunar poster.


Vintage Electric Fan, Retro Blue by NeOld – $38

Both practical and good looking, this fan has a stunning and glistening deep blue base.

Petite Rustique Bamboo Roman Shade – $32.99

How can you really go wrong with a classic bamboo colour in almost any space? These great-quality sunglasses come in a multitude of widths and therefore are at a excellent price point.

West Elm

Abacus Table Lamp, Clear – $149

The neutral tones of the glass lamp makes it great as a bedside light. I would opt for a pair.


Dreamy Seascape Photo by Eye Poetry Photography – $30

This highly effective seascape print goes over the bed.

West Elm

Veneer Spheres – $16

Here are a few more sculptural accessories for a table or shelf or on top of a pile of books.

One Kings Lane

Pune Wood and Bone Box, Black/Ivory

Your guy can store his watch or other small accessories within this beautiful bone box.


French Directoire Dresser – $1,499

I like the straight lines and weathered finish with this chest.


Tårnby Rug, Flatwoven – $99.99

This is an inexpensive option to cover a larger surface area in the bedroom. It will look great with a traditional over-dyed oriental rug layered for softness.

Rugs USA

Over-Dyed Makah Multi Rug – $2,796

Buy a bigger Persian rug to layer over a huge jute rug so that you can step out of bed onto a softer rug.

Somerton Montecito End Table – $235.20

This instant bedside table has shelves to get a laptop, books or publications.


Hand-Woven Original Silk Ikat Pillow Cover, Dark by Sukan – $49.95

Here’s a picture accent pillow for the bed.

Elton Chair – $499

Utilize a tufted chair for reading or sitting down to wear shoes.

Cost Plus World Market

Tribal Carved Wood Accent Table – $149.99

This is a great accent table to place next to this chair.

Next: A Bedroom for Both of You

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How to Restain Countertop Edging

Wear and tear, and everyday cleaning, can cause stained timber countertop edging to lose its warm appearance, however you can remove the old stain and employ fresh. You can even alter the appearance of the trimming by utilizing a fresh shade of stain. Although stain might seem deeply embedded in the wood, in most cases it’s possible to lift it with easily available wood stain removers located in home improvement centers and hardware stores. Harsh chemical strippers are no longer mandatory for eliminating stain and other finishes, which means you can choose an effective non-toxic merchandise if you like.


Wood counter edges accumulate a lot of grime, grease and food particles. Although strippers remove just about any substance, cleaning the timber border before massaging enables the stripper to penetrate better and lift more of their old stain. Mild oil soap for timber is a non-toxic cleanser which softens old kitchen grease, allowing you to clean it off more readily. Mix oil soap and warm water in a skillet, and wash the countertop edge with a sponge. Old grease and meals are sometimes stubborn, so use an old toothbrush or a dull-edge metal scraper to remove anything that does not wipe off easily. Although oil soap is secure for sealed wood, you should not flooding the countertop edge with the liquid. Nicks or scratches through the old finish can absorb the water, which can produce the wood stained.


Before stripping off the old stain, you should protect the surrounding areas from stripper and the brand new stain and top finish coat. Painter’s tape creates a clean, sharp border between the countertop and the timber edging, and holds up plastic sheeting to protect the cupboard doors and drawers. An errant drop of stripper could ruin the face of your cabinets. Fall fabrics are also advisable for shielding the floor. Even ceramic tile is vulnerable, as a trickle of stained wood blot could permanently discolor the grout. Paint stripper can soften the painter’s tape adhesive if you accidentally get some on the tape, so get rid of the tape after stripping the border and apply a fresh layer before applying stain.


There are myriad timber stain strippers available in home improvement centers and hardware shop, but you don’t want one with harsh, smelly substances. Newer, nontoxic products are available that cut through water- and oil-based stains and sealers, and many of them work equally as quickly. Gel formulas are convenient for a novice to manage. The material is thicker than liquid strippers. It remains in place and does not dry out as quickly as liquids, and it brushes on with an old craft brush or disposable paintbrush. Following the stripper has dissolved the old stain and sealer, which is anywhere from a few hours to overnight, scrape it off with a metal scraper or a five-in-one painter’s scraping tool. Five-in-one scraper tools look like an odd-shaped putty knife with a metal lip on one end of border for reaching into small spaces. Sanding off the old stain and bleach rather than stripping is also an option, however, sandpaper and sanding sponges can harm edging with delicate information.


Wood stain can be found in water- or oil-based gels and liquids. Water-based stain absorbs and dries in as little as two hours, while oil-based stain absorbs and dries . In humid weather, oil-based stain can remain tacky following 24 hours. Mix stain thoroughly by shaking the tin or stirring the materials, and apply the stain with a paintbrush or sponge. After waiting approximately 5 minutes, wipe off the excess stain with a rag. Some people today would rather rub stain into the wood with a rag rather than brushing it on and then wiping it off, and this method works particularly well with gel stains. You can even stain wood with wood dyes, which work similarly to water-based stains. Dyes supply a wide variety of colors including standard wood tones and vibrant colors such as red, yellow and blue.


Even with oil-based stain, apply a top finish coat such as varnish to protect the wood from water and stains. Polyurethane is among the most common and easily available wood finishes, and can be found in water- and oil-based formulas. You can apply polyurethane with a fine-bristle wood complete brush as though you’re painting the timber, or rub it into the countertop edge with a rag. Rubbing on varnish leaves a natural looking finish, but brushing it creates a thicker, more protective layer. Apply at least 2 coats, but don’t use more than the instructions recommend. If applied too thickly, it can chip or flake out after it heals.

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DIY Table Top Grouting

A table’s top is the greatest part of its surface and the most visible. Whether you are trying to hide a table top, or creating a unique look for a brand new table, grouted tile is a simple alternative to stain or paint that supplies a gorgeous rugged surface. You should select a table top that is stable and firm for the application of your tile and grout. A table with a thick shirt will work better than the thinner shirt, because tile grout is rigid and takes a firm foundation.


Inspect the table for any damage or irregular areas. Fill in damage and seams in the desk with auto body filler plus a flexible putty knife. Allow the filler to harden. Sand the table smooth using an oscillating tool fitted using a sanding accessory, and wash the dust from the top using a tack cloth. Apply a coat of oil-based bonding primer using a roller towards the top of the table. Allow it to dry completely and sand the surface gently. Wipe the rest of the dust from the table with a tack cloth.

Setting Tile

Mark across the table through its centre both approaches to make a T grid to set the tile. Apply tile mastic adjesive to the back of every tile, also known as”buttering,” to a depth of 1/8 inch. Start in 1 corner of the T and place the initial tile. Use a vinyl tile spacer off every corner and include more tiles around it, to make the proper gaps between tiles. Continue laying tiles in straight lines, with spacers to put each tile before the table is covered. Cut tiles to the edge of the table as needed to match. Allow the adhesive to harden. Use a damp sponge to wash adhesives from the faces of the tiles.


Apply premixed grout between the tiles using a foam grout float, dragging the grout into the gaps between the tiles. Fill out the grout lines with the surface of the tiles. Dampen the grout float and then drag it across the faces of the tiles to remove as much grout from the tiles as you can. Smooth the grout using a little, easy instrument, such as a grout trowel, to make a smooth line. Allow the grout to set up and use a moist sponge to clean the grout from the tiles.


If the tiles are presealed, then the grout will probably require sealing. A penetrating tile sealer ought to be used on porous, unsealed tile prior to sealing the grout. Apply it to the faces of the tiles in accordance with the label instructions. Allow the tiles to dry, then apply a penetrating grout to the grout lines equally. Wipe the tiles clean using a wet rag to remove grout sealer before it dries, that can lead to clouding. Enable the table to place for 24 hours prior to use.

Replacing Old Grout

To replace old grout onto an exisiting table, scrape on the worn grout from between the tiles using a handheld oscillating tool fitted using a grout removal blade, until you reach solid substance. Use mastic to reattach loose tiles. Enable them to set. Wash the tiles nicely with a household cleaner. Apply grout as formerly described. Seal your grout to shield it from stains and spills prior to using your own table.

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Home Painting

How Do I Hang Flower Pots Inside?

A hanging basket may dress the a space or add greenery and color near a window. Hanging the pot correctly ensures the plants get what they want and you don’t damage your walls, floors or ceilings. Hang baskets near eye level so that you may enjoy the blossoms and access them for care and upkeep.

Select a Position

Select a spot for your plants that meets their needs. Most flowering plants require all-day sun when grown inside, although some may tolerate indirect or part-day sun. Near a south-facing window often provides best light intensity inside. Stress can be an issue. Avoid hanging baskets around drafty windows in winter, or air conditioner or heater vents. The temperature fluctuations can harm the crops and drying atmosphere can leave them dry and brown.

Potting Needs

A lightweight soilless potting mix works best. These combinations typically contain peat, perlite, vermiculite and other lightweight, well-draining substances. The pot must contain bottom drainage holes. Choose baskets for indoor usage with connected bottom drip trays so that water doesn’t drip onto your flooring.

Setup Method

Install hanging hooks at a ceiling joist or wall stud to ensure they don’t pull out beneath the weight of this basket. An electronic stud finder may quickly locate a joist or stud. Drill a starter hole through the plaster and into the joist, with a drill bit one dimension bigger than the hook, then twist the hook tightly. If the hook feels loose, then it may pull out and harm your ceiling.

Care Tips

Plants in hanging baskets or connected to the wall require the same care as any indoor potted flower. Water the basket once the top 1 inch of soil feels dry. When watering, take down the basket and place it at the sink. Allow it to drain for 30 minutes, then empty the drip tray before rehanging to minimize drips. If the plants at the basket begin extending toward the window and looking leggy, rotate the basket each time you water it so a different side faces the window.

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Home Painting

Can Painting Kill Mold?

Painting over mold does not kill it. The mold causes it to peel back off the wall and continues to grow beneath the paint. The correct approach to manage a mold problem is to work out the reason for the moisture, then fix this problem and remove the mold. Infestations and mold of other molds could be dangerous and are managed by a remediation specialist. You should do this before painting and are able to fix mold problems that are smaller yourself.

Removal and Repainting

Protect carpets and flooring under the moldy area with a plastic drop cloth and wash the affected area with a sterile cloth and mild detergent. Wash it , when the area has dried. Repeat this procedure again in 20 minutes. Wait 30 minutes and then wash the wall with water. Last, apply a cleaner. Leave this option on the wall without rinsing. Allow the wall and paint with products. In problem areas where you anticipate mold can grow again, such as bathrooms, choose. These paints will not kill mold that is current but are resistant to new growth. Use these paints caution around children and pets, as the combination creates a toxic gasoline and never mix bleach with ammonia.

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Home Painting

Can Spray Foam Stick into Duct Work?

Subsequently expand to fill gaps and cracks that hamper the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling methods and spray foam insulation is designed to stick wherever it is implemented. These attributes make spray foam perfect for attics and crawlspaces filled with duct work.

A Sticky Situation

Foam insulation will stick to anything, including duct work, as long as the surface is clean and dry. It is impossible to eliminate When the spray foam has adhered. Because the duct work is coated with a thick coating of dust which interferes with the 35, in cases where it won’t adhere to duct work sheet metal, it may be. It may also be due to oils used in the process which have to be eliminated from the work. Wipe the duct work down white vinegar and 1 part water if the spray foam won’t stick. Let it dry thoroughly before spraying on the foam. Before employing spray foam, then check to find out whether it’s necessary to apply an ignition barrier between the work and the foam, particularly around joints.

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Home Painting

The Way to Remove Ivy Remains In the Foundation of My Property

Those long ivy (Hedera) vines that lend English charm to your home’s exterior can hurt bricks and mortar using their origins. These resilient plants boom in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11, and some species are invasive. Even after you kill the vines, the lifeless parts can cling to the home’s foundation like adhesive. Removing these remnants takes a balancing process of scrubbing hard enough to get off the roots, but not enough to hurt the home.

Wear work gloves and safety glasses prior to attempting to remove the ivy. If you have asthma or other breathing issues, wear a mask as well.

Catch the very top of one of the vines at the highest stage that is attached to the foundation. Pull it gently away from the home to see if it is going to detach. Repeat the removal procedure with all remaining vines. If you feel resistance, stop and abandon the vine in place for later removal.

Set the flat blade of a plastic paint scraper perpendicular to the side of this foundation in a place where some of the ivy tendrils stay. Tilt the scraper backward slightly to your 45-degree angle and push it gently above the foundation to eliminate the majority of the larger remaining ivy pieces.

Brush the foundation using a dry, stiff-bristled, nylon brush and side-to-side motions to detach the remaining ivy roots.

Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 to 2 teaspoons of dish soap. Saturate the remaining ivy roots together with the solution, and let the mix sit for one or two minutes. Scrub off the roots using the nylon brush.

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Home Cleaning

How to Wash Greasy Semigloss-Painted Walls

The secret to cleaning grease off of walls painted with semigloss paint would be to start with a gentle cleaner and work your way up to the strong ones. Grease does not stick well to semigloss paint, and gentle detergents are less likely to etch the end and rub pigment.

On the Mild Side

There is no gentler cleaning solution than warm water, which may be all you require. It might just move the grease around and make the wall dirtier, though, so try it first by rubbing an inconspicuous part of the wall using a sponge. Insert a oz of all-purpose nonabrasive cleaner or dish detergent per gallon of warm water should you have to fortify the mixture.

Heavy-Duty Cleaning

Kitchen grease may call for a more powerful cleaning solution. White vinegar is a mld acid which cuts grease, so try adding 1/2 cup to your own detergent solution. Make the solution much more powerful, if necessary, by blending in a cup of ammonia and 1/4 cup baking soda. Use the solution generously, but rinse the wall with clear water and dry it using a cloth afterward.

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Home Painting

Shampooers Vs. Steamers

Carpeting is a warm and soft flooring option, but it’s the toughest material to clean because it’s made of fibers that trap dirt and soils. Carpet manufacturers urge you clean carpets occasionally with a shampooer or steamer. The best way to use depends on the degree of clean you desire to achieve. For example, while both will create your rug brighter, shampooers sometimes leave dirt behind.

The Way Shampooers Clean

Shampooers use warm water combined with soap to make a solution the shampooer applies into the carpet. It then removes the dirty solution after it dries. Shampooers typically spray on a water and shampoo solution or a dry foam on the carpet. A revolving or rotary brush subsequently works the foam or shampoo to the fibers to loosen the dirt. Sometimes this procedure can overwet the carpet, which prolongs drying times, and the brush may harm delicate carpet fibers.

The Way Steamers Clean

Steamers use warm to hot water to loosen dirt in your carpet, and they then extract the dirt in the fibers with a strong vacuum and carry it into your holding tank. While the title “steamer” means that your carpet is being cleaned with steam, a steamer actually uses warm to hot water to clean the carpet. A spray of water is used to force the dirt in the carpet fibers, and a vacuum located in front of the spray instantly sucks it up. Carpet steamers are typically like layout, but also the temperature of the water used varies. Some machines use cold water that is heated to boiling water. With steamers that heat to exceptionally significant temperatures, there’s the chance of scalding when the water line breaks.

Degree of Cleaning

Shampooers are a surface cleanser, meaning they clean the upper portions of the carpet fibers but may not reach dirt and deposits that settle on the bottom. Steam cleaners provide deep cleaning, extracting with enough power to pull the dirt in the base of the rug fibers. Shampooers basically bury the dirt in foam and often have brighteners which produce your carpet look cleaner than it really is. Eventually this may lead to yellowing, which can’t be eliminated.

Cleaning Frequency and Timing

Carpets must be shampooed or steamed every 12 to 18 months. The frequency is based on the caliber of your carpet, how much traffic it receives and whether or not you have pets. For example, a rug in a guest room doesn’t require cleaning as often as one in a family room, and a rug in a house with pets may require more frequent cleaning than just one in a home with pets. Your timing is also important. It is best to steam or shampoo your carpet before it gets too cluttered. This is quite important when having a shampooer, nevertheless, because you don’t get a deep clean. This means in the event that you wait too long to shampoo the carpet, dirt and soils settle where they may remain even after shampooing.

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Tropical Style

Types of Perennial Sunflowers

Sunflower (Helianthus) is a large group of sun-loving lants with glowing yellow petals that radiate from a dark brown center. Unlike yearly varieties, perennial sunflowers blossom and return for many years. Even though the flowers are similar to annual sunflowers, the flowers are normally smaller. Most perennial sunflowers begin blooming in late summer or early fall, attracting butterflies and honeybees into the backyard as late as November.


Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) is just a gigantic plant that reaches heights of 3 to 10 feet at maturity, with a spread of 2 to 4 feet. The plant exhibits glowing yellow, daisylike blooms surrounding dark yellow centers, rising above long, thin leaves. Maximilian sunflower, which flowers mainly in late summer and early fall, is acceptable for growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9

Lemon Queen

Helianthus “Lemon Queen” is a big, fast-growing perennial sunflower that reaches heights of 6 to 8 ft and widths of 3 to 4 feet. The plant produces masses of 2-inch, pale lemon-yellow, semi-double blooms with dark brown centers. Blooms appear in midsummer and last six to eight weeks. Helianthus “Lemon Queen” is perennial in USDA zones 4 through 9.


Helanthus x multiflorus contains quite a few attractive perennial sunflower varieties, each displaying masses of colorful, early- to late-summer flowers on fuzzy stems measuring as tall as 4 to 5 feet. Varieties include the extreme gold, double-flowered “Lodden Gold”; “Capenoch Star,” with glowing yellow, single flowers; along with “Soleil d’Or,” with vibrant yellow, semi-double blooms. Multiflorus sunflowers have been drought-tolerant plants acceptable for growing in USDA zones zones 4 through 10.


Willowleaf sunflower (Helianthus salicifolius) is distinguished by smart yellow-orange, 2-inch blooms with purplish-brown centers that grow atop sturdy, pale green, 6- to 8-foot stems. The plant’s graceful, drooping leaves step 8 or more inches in length. This sunflower variety expands by underground rhizomes, eventually creating a thick colony of blossoms. Willowleaf sunflower, which flowers in fall, is perennial in USDA zones 4 through 9.

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