11 Essential Details for Rustic Home Décor

Pic 0 - Main picA trend of rustic décor is quickly spreading and it’s no wonder. This simple look is so appealing that you’d want it in your own home. Here is a list of design details that you might find interesting.

  1. Pic 1 - WoodWood-themed Accessories 

Take a set of wooden and rustic ornaments and display them on a shelf or a tabletop. Place some candles and use warm colors to complete the rustic vision. Buying some used furniture is also a great idea, and it will look amazing with your rustic décor accessories.

  1. Pic 2 - BenchDIY Bench 

This bench is not only cost efficient, but it is also very adaptable to any home style. It can be placed anywhere, such as the living room, an entryway or a bedroom, and can be used for numerous purposes such as holding stacks of books, baskets or as a flower pot stand.

  1. Pic 3 - CenterpieceRustic DIY Centerpiece 

This can be anything you imagine, as simple as a wooden board with some candles and pine-cones to add to the rustic look.

  1. Pic 4 - ShelvesPallet Shelves 

Another affordable and simple detail is a pallet shelf. Pallets are not that hard to find and they can be turned into various things, and these shelves don’t take long to make. They can be painted over to match the existing décor, and you can use them for storing books, bottles or simple decorative details.

  1. Pic 5 - RugCarpeting 

A house feels more like a home and more cozy when there is a carpet on the floor. Zado rugs are the perfect solution: Either in the hallway or on the stairs, or to frame a space in a large room, they will contribute to that rustic appeal.

  1. Pic 6 - Wood StumpTree Trunk Coffee Tables

Find a few tree stumps, sand them down and make them flat. You can also paint them or drill them, glue them together and so much more. Whatever you choose, you will be pleased with your custom design.

  1. Pic 7 - BranchesTree Branch Chandelier 

An outstanding and simple way to enhance your rustic décor is this simple chandelier. Take a strong but skinny branch and hang Christmas lights around it. Use clear lights, not the colored ones and place the chandelier over your dining table or place it in the garden.

  1. Pic 8 - Jewelry HangerWooden Jewelry Hanger 

Take a few suitable branches and sand them down with sandpaper to make them smooth. Then nail them together to make a holder for your jewelry. You can make a stand with another piece of wood, or use a small vase.

  1. Pic 9 - AntlersAntlers 

Antlers can be used in many different ways, not just as a decoration on a wall. They can be used as curtain holders, book holders, towel holders, jewelry holders, and anything else you can think of.

  1. Pic 10 - HangersWooden Hangers 

Take a piece of wood and use hooks to create hangers. This project may take some time to make, but it will be worth your while, since it is so authentic and cost efficient. You can make hangers for anything, from clothes to towels or mugs.

  1. Pic 11 - LampsTwine Lamps 

This is a great way to turn both new and old, unsightly lamps into a fabulous rustic detail. Take a piece of twine and wrap the entire lamp holder with it. You can also put twine on the lamp shade and make it even more rustic.



About the author 

Pic 12 - Author

Marie Nieves is student of economics who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design. Marie loves to talk about her experiences and she is regular author on Smooth Decorator. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.



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Buying Solid Wood Furniture

This solid wood furniture buying guide looks into facts about purchasing traditional furniture in solid wood. To begin with, if you really like preserving furniture, you ought to ask yourself a few questions before you start the hunt.

  1.  What is the particular styling you are looking for?
  2. How long do you wish to keep the furniture?
  3. Does it require regular maintenance?
  4. Is it too outdated to be out of vogue say ten years from now?
  5. Would you get bored looking at it some years from now?

wood furniture 1 Most of us like to preserve furniture for the value it holds. The style and theme, or something from the era that makes all the spending worthwhile!

Solid wood or Hardwood furniture: It is important to know the difference between hardwoods and softwood. Hardwood is sourced from non-needled tree like maple, cherry or mahogany. The wood is reputed for its robustness and durability, but is difficult for any carving and detailed form of wood work. Make sure solid wood furniture actually has solid wood on all furniture parts and pieces. Also, solid wood expands and contracts as per temperature and humidity changes, so furniture done in plywood and framed in veneered solid wood may be a good idea to purchase.

Solid woods are dried slowly in kilns till it retains about six percent moisture content. Then it is cut and shaped into pieces that provide the structural integrity of the furniture. Such solid wood pieces may include legs, casing and details that support the furniture. The joints are often given additional strength with bonding glues. To ensure a good job and whether furniture is properly joined, you can lift it by one corner and see. On lifting, the furniture should stay firm and retain its shape without racking or twisting.wood furniture 2

Softwoods: Derived from needle-bearing trees such as pine or cedar, softwood is great for carving and their surface can be carved, but the wood may look weathered due to its soft surface that can easily be marked and blemished

Plywood and Particle Board : Use of non-solid wood to construct furniture has been the most misunderstood concept. As solid wood can expand and contract as per humidity changes in the weather, it is important to use plywood or ground wood to help with achieving a stable and user-friendly product. Especially in door and table construction, solid wood needs to have a flat base to reinforce the required stability. Plywood products manufactured of ground up wood are robust and less prone to warp or split. These large flat panels are usually framed in solid wood and covered by veneers to recreate the look of one large piece of wood. Veneering is a process by itself, and is explained in the next point.

Veneers : Veneering is a process that allows the natural grain to emerge beautifully on the surface. Traditional bedroom furniture and dining tabletops and dressers used veneering with a thin slice of wood selected for its outstanding character. Veneering has been used traditionally, dating back to ancient Egypt and Rome in the 17th Century. We find wood veneers in different types of furniture and pricing today. The advantages of veneering are many. In covering the core panels, veneers are often applied fashioning patterns that actually enhance the beauty of any furniture piece by many folds. Usually, more expensive woods which would be too costly or fragile to use as structural parts are used as veneers.

wood furniture 3The Finish : Finishing plays a vital role in the appearance of any furniture. The finest furniture sold these days usually involves an intricate finishing process to achieve the flawless look. Involving different steps, once a furniture piece is ready it is thoroughly sanded or wiped. To highlight the wood grain, sometimes steel wool is used. For traditional designs, fly specking or distressing is undertaken to bestow the piece with antique looks.

Later, a sanding sealer is applied during final finish. A final sanding is done prior to the application of the top coat. Also, lacquering is done; it is used during last step for the final look, giving the piece its finished appearance. Lacquering whether done in matt, flat or glossy finish can endow a piece with great beauty and also make it waterproof and durable for the long run.

Engraving or Printing : Veneering is a costly process and to cut the cost, there is a method that is used to reproduce the wood grain. The wooden image is applied on top of flat panels like a look alike. If you are looking for the original thing, try to check the surface closely, when engraved, the grain will look even and uniform, almost flawless with no texture variation which is a sign that it can’t be done from a piece of wood. Engraving and printing is normally done on the insides of a furniture piece that makes the finish less expensive. However, one of the major drawbacks of such an alternative is that it is not resistant and the grains may easily come off when exposed to water or any solvent.

For solid wood furniture like cabinets and storage units, you may want to make sure that the drawers are jointly secure and dovetailed for easy gliding. Also, pay attention to the doors so that they swing open easily without squeaking or rubbing, and that long doors are attached with study hinges. Practical details should help you check out with the manufacturer before you make the move.

Restaurant Tables in Your Home

This weeks article is written by Ashley Belo of www.gotable.com.

When it comes to wood restaurant tables and chairs, there is nothing more classic or timeless than furniture manufactured from a gorgeous piece of wood. Think back to any old western set in the wild west, or any frontier movie of the 18th or 19th century. Almost all of the furniture of that era was produced from wood. Much of that wood furniture is now considered antique and highly collectible.

While wood furniture is classic and timeless, it is also manufactured in styles to match the modern designs popular in today’s trendy contemporary restaurants. Wood’s durability and popularity endure, making it an excellent choice for commercial restaurant furniture. Designing your restaurant with warm wood restaurant tables and chairs helps enhance your customers experience which can increase sales.

Wood Restaurant Tables

Butcher block style restaurant tables manufactured from high quality oak are one of the most classic of all restaurant table styles. Butcher block table tops are made by taking oak, ash, or other types of wood strips, and gluing them together to make one solid surface. Natural wood may have some variation in color, which adds to the uniqueness of a butcher block top.

Restaurant butcher block tables can be stained to match the colors of any setting, and then coated with a very durable finish. They can be manufactured in many custom thicknesses. They are also available with a wide variety of stain color options and custom edge treatments. Butcher block restaurant tables are perfect for large areas as they can be custom ordered in up to 120″ length. Butcher block is an excellent option in restaurant tables for any hospitality setting that needs a warm feeling.

Solid oak pub tables are round wood tables with a footed base manufactured from quality oak and manufactured in the USA. The table tops are made from one inch thick boards, typically oak, glued together to make a flat surface. A three inch wide ring is attached to the bottom of the top to add stability and a thicker look. A base column is then made with eight pieces of oak glued together, the base is drilled at the bottom for the feet to be attached. The table is then stained followed by a catalyzed polyurethane. Solid oak tables give the classic “pub table” appearance. These tables are available in counter or bar height making them an excellent choice in any application where activity at a standing level is necessary. Solid oak tables are specifically made for the high demands of restaurants and bars. These striking tables are made to order and are available in custom sizes with custom staining to completely match any restaurant’s color and design theme.

Wood Frame Restaurant Chairs

Just like with wood tables, commercial chairs manufactured from high quality wood produce a warm feeling in any hospitality setting. There are a vast array of different styles and types of wood restaurant chairs. Many of these are highly customizable with a wide variety of stains and fabric or vinyl seating options, making the choices in wood chairs practically infinite. Wood frame restaurant chairs are available in choices from classic to contemporary. There is a wood chair option for every price point and budget.

Wood Frame Restaurant Barstools

In addition to wood tables and chairs, there are many choices in restaurant barstools manufactured from high quality wood. Choices in wood barstools include barstools with or without seat backs. These commercial wood barstools come in a wide variety of prices to match any budget. Just like the wood commercial chairs, they are highly customizable with a wide variety of stains and fabric or vinyl seating options, and are available styles matching the wood restaurant chair options.

Cedar Adirondack Chairs

My first woodworking project was to make adirondack chairs out of cedar fence boards.  I got the plans from Sunset magazine & they lasted for about 5 years outside in our Washington weather.

cedarchairs1Adirondack chairs can be made out of just about any wood or even plastic. So why choose cedar? Firstly, cedar is a naturally beautiful wood for many reasons (which we describe below), as well as being incredibly durable and versatile, which is why it is used to construct everything from siding to decks to furniture and even roofing shingles. The natural preservative oils and characteristic smell of cedar also make it very insect and rot resistant.

Cedar is not a very dense wood, making it one of the lightest softwoods available. Cedar also boasts an incredible thermal co-efficient. That means that the little tiny “air pockets” between the cells of the wood end up acting as an insulator when the wood is dry. If it is hot outside, for example, cedar will remain at a lower temperature than most other materials that conduct heat with more efficiency (e.g. other hardwoods, metals and some plastics). The result is a cooler chair to sit on. And don’t forget, because it is a lightweight wood it will be easier for you to move it around (and store it away) than a heavy hardwood chair.cedarchairs2

Even though cedar is a lightweight wood you will not be sacrificing strength. It is a full 80% the strength of mighty OAK! That’s tough!

Cedar also has amazing dimensional stability. More simply put, cedar naturally tries to equalize its moisture content to match that of the air around it, like all woods. However, unlike many other woods, cedar does not expand or contract very much when it is absorbing or evaporating moisture. This is very important because while other harder, denser woods will tend to crack or warp from season to season, cedar tends not to crack or warp. If you live in an area where humidity levels can vary wildly between seasons, cedar is a must for you.

Cedar has a very low flame-spreading ratio and is low on the “smoke developed” scale when burning as well. This means that it doesn’t spread fire as fast nor produce as much smoke as some other types of wood.

cedarchairs3Finally, cedar is very decay and weather resistant. If you leave the furniture outside you have the option of either staining it every year or two if you want to maintain its fresh new look, or allowing it to age gracefully into a beautiful silvery gray color. If you choose to leave cedar permanently outside through all of the seasons, every day, every month, every year, we highly recommend treating it to protect the furniture properly and greatly extend its natural life. After all, cedar is resistant to decay but is not impervious to it. No wood is impervious to natural aging. Staining cedar just gives it an extra durability edge against Mother Nature, especially if it is left in constant contact with the ground.


Buying Outdoor Furniture

After a mild winter, it looks like Spring is here in the Pacific Northwest.

When it comes to selecting Garden Furniture, or Patio Furniture, it is important to remember that it will probably be left outside in all weathers, so it must be able to stand up to extreme changes of temperatures. You may think that all Garden Furniture is built to last, but un-fortunately that is NOT the case. Buying cheap Garden Furniture is very often the most expensive choice! It will need to be replaced often! The old adage is also true, “you only get what you pay for”.

outdoor_furniture1Having established that we are now NOT going to buy the cheapest that we can find, what should we do next? The first step is to decide what type of Garden Furniture that you like. This you can basically separate into two categories:

Metal Garden Furniture & Hardwood Garden Furniture.

Metal Garden Furniture

If you want Metal Garden Furniture, and you want it to last, then you should select Metal Garden Furniture that is ONLY made of Aluminium. The reason for this is that Aluminium does NOT RUST, so will last in all weather conditions. Having decided on Aluminium, you then must look at whether to go for “Cast Aluminium”, which is often solid and is made from Aluminium that has been Cast into a mould, or “Framed Aluminium”, which although lighter, is normally equally as durable. So if your preference is to have Metal Garden Furniture, selecting any type of quality Aluminium Garden Furniture, you will be sure of getting many years of use from your purchase.  That said, my experience is that powder coated steel will last 3-4 years before you’ll get out the paint sprayer.

Hardwood Garden Furniture

This is my favourite, because no two pieces are “exactly” the same. The differences in the grain makes each piece unique. It would take a whole book to completely cover “Wooden Garden Furniture”, because there are literally thousands of different options.outdoor_furniture2

However after selling Garden Furniture for over ten years, my choice has narrowed right down to only one type, which is “Teak Garden Furniture”.

The reason for this is very simple, it is the BEST there is to withstand all types of weather, including the often rainy Northwest summer climate.
outdoor_furniture3Although it is certainly more expensive that most other types of wood, it is VERY hard wearing and will last for many years, with (or without) any treatment, so really does justifies the higher price. Teak is a natural product, that is from a slow growing hard wood tree. So when you look to buy make sure that you select from a supplier that has Teak Garden Furniture that has been made from “Plantation Grown” Teak, which is a renewable resource, and not from a forest that is being destroyed by de-forestation. Quality Teak Garden Furniture should last for 20 -25 years, so when you compare the life of it, to the cost, it is extremely good value for money.