Electrical works of our home should always be done by a specialist. However, minimal skills about visible parts (switches, sockets) are needed for planning the lighting, especially when we have to purchase them. It’s easy to get lost among types of switches.
Parts of the switch: frame, button and mechanism.
The frame can be single, double, triple etc., depending on the fact that how many switches or sockets are lined beside each other. All of this can be in horizontal or vertical layout.
Single-pole switch: one light can be turned on and off with it
Chandelier switch: has two buttons, one light can be turned on and off in two sections
Alternative switch: one light (group) can be turned on and off from two different places
Cross switch: one light (group) can be turned on and off from three or more places
Luminance control switch: the amount of flux can be controlled by a button, so the luminance of the light is alterable
Touch switches can be purchased also beside the traditional tumbler switches, which perfectly fit to modern interiors.
Nowadays there is a quite wide range of color- and material assortment. The frame can be made of metal, wood, leather, glass, several types of stones, beside the well-known plastic. These mechanisms can be almost hidden with choosing the most fitting color for the wall, but they even can be highlighted and be made for the decorations of the interior by the assortment.
Ask for help of an interior designer for the choice.
Wicker furniture are present in the homes of mankind for thousands of years. They came in fashion often in modern times and disappeared again. Nowadays this type of furniture is referred with furnishing of gardens and patios. In old times, they could be found in the homes of peasants just as in the castles of the nobles – in a different way of course.
The name above is a summary of products made of floral materials with handmade weaving technique. Several plants are used for this purpose: willow twig, rush, bamboo, sisal (seagrass), rattan, cane. All of them are well paintable and warnishable, this way the not so old, boring pieces can be easily renewed. Basically, there are two groups of wicker furniture: the whole piece was made by this technique or only the back/seat is woven filling the frame. The latter can be found among classic English and French furniture as well as in simple pieces made by the Shakers. This type of furnishing became popular again thanks to the penetration of shabby chic and country styles.
When buying wicker furniture, prefer the ones made of natural materials instead of fake made of plastic. Ask for help of an interior designer for choosing the proper pieces.
The following three words are commonly used in interior design and related books. Sometimes still it’s not obvious when to use which.
Antique: marker of furniture, objects of art, or artisanship older than 100 years, independently of style. Its age, originality, condition, the manufacturer and rarity is important for collectors (full collection in case of a set). A restoration gives them back their original pomp.
Vintage: marker of objects that are younger than 100 but older than 15 years, concerning rather to their condition than age. It is a classification of strongly used, shabby surfaced furniture and household objects which marks even a style. It means rethought, reused, modified/renewed objects also. Giving vintage look to a new object is a distinct genre. It is not equivalent with the shabby chic style.
Retro: marker of household and decoration objects of years from the 50s to (presently) the 80s. Their age is old „only”. It is also a marker of objects that are new but made look like in the style or shapes of this era. Collectors are motivated by nostalgia and emotional bondage but of course originality and condition are also important. Retro has a pejorative meaning, “out of fashion”.
In case of uncertainty, ask for help of a professional dating an object.
Summer holiday begins with packing all the needed stuff in the suitcases. This happened the same way in old times also, but suitcases looked a bit different. They had no wheels, pull-out handles and combination locks. They were frequently made of leather/faux-leather with propping only in their frames. Box-like, inflexible-sided versions were popular too, which looked like very big briefcases. Quality pieces of old times often served a lifetime. They were even inherited through generations laying in attics or used as storages. In lucky case they had stickers of the visited towns on their sides. If we would like to keep these old pieces but use them also, give them a new life by transforming them to our needs.
Separate the two equal part of the suitcase at the hinges. Make a wooden brace frame created by a carpenter (if that is a flexible-sided suitcase, it needs a brace there too). Place two shelves in it, so that a computer can be fitted in. The ventilation and attaching cables are guaranteed because it is open in the front and the back also. Fix four small legs on the bottom. Leave the original handle, locks and other parts on it, these are great decorating elements. It will look good placed beside the desk in a classic or even in an industrial interior.
Our pets deserve comfortable lairs, but those in shops are quite expensive. The old suitcase can be good for this purpose also with a little fantasy. Open the cover in right angle. Fix it in this position on both sides with braces. Drill four holes on the bottom for screwing the legs. Upholster a custom-cut foam or a big cushion with the desired (washable) fabric. Put it in the lower part of the suitcase, but it should cover the screws of the legs. We can pad the upper part too but if the lining remains visible, it will look very good also. There will be enough space even for our pet’s toys. This is a stylish lair for dogs and cats.
Suitcases can get a new life as wall shelves also. Cut into two parts lengthwise the closed, inflexible-sided suitcase. This way handle will be on one side, the hinges on the other. Fix it on the wall by a pre-drilled console, but the console should be hidden by it. Another solution: drill the suitcase on the wall uprightly. This way the wall cabinet has a sidelong opening „door” that can serve as a mini bar or a medicine cabinet.
Pile up several suitcases (if they are not inflexible-sided, they should be filled with e.g. polystyrene bricks). Reaching the desired height it will be a perfect night table. We can make a night table from one piece only if we fix long legs to the laid suitcase. The inflexible-sided variation is a much more practical choice for this.
Of course, antique suitcases will be showy using them as „only” storage boxes. Ask for help of an interior designer for more ideas.
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