Replace Your Boring Old Downspouts With Decorative Rain Chains

Dispersing the rainwater that runs off the roof of your home is important. You cannot just let the water gush through the hole at the ends of your gutters. Water will splatter all over the side of your home, or splash onto the ground creating erosion problems. You may think your only solution is to use old-fashioned downspouts to deal with this problem.

But, there is a different choice you can use to handle the water flow coming from your downspouts. Rain chains are an alternative that gets the job done, plus adds an ornamental decorative appeal to your home

What are Rain Chains?

Rain chains are decorative downspouts that replace conventional gutter downspouts. They can be made of different types of material, using various ornamental type objects.

The primary objective is to disperse the water flow coming from your gutter spout, so it does not splatter into the air, or simply runoff into the ground. While rain chains can be used just to disperse water runoff evenly, they are predominantly used to help collect some, or all of the rainwater coming off your roof.

The first rain chain design accomplished this using a series of cups, separated 2 or 3 inches apart, and connected with a link type chain. This dangling chain of cups is suspended from the gutter spout opening.

The idea of using rain chains is definitely not a new concept. The idea originated hundreds of years ago in Japan. The Japanese have been credited with developing the first rain chains to help with the collection of water from their rooftops.

Water would flow off the roof, streaming down a series of chains, gently falling into a collection barrel. This water can be used to water gardens, or sand filtered for household use. Since rain chains are quite visible around the home, their ornamental appeal has led to a multitude of unique and interesting ideas.

3 Simple Rain Chain Design Ideas

Here are three interesting ideas for your rain chains.

  • Aluminum Cone-shaped Cups

This design is the most basic rain chain you will find on the market. It is a series of aluminum cones linked together with a chain. They are usually 2 to 3 inches in diameter and around 4 inches tall. The lower two-thirds of the cone is full of evenly spaced holes that allow the water to gently flow down the chain to the next cup, eventually trickling out on the ground, or into a holding container.

  • Flower Cups

Many people enjoy using decorative flower pots suspended by a center chain, or nylon rope. The pot size and color are optional, and the rope can also be many different colors. This can add a bit of color to your exterior decorations.

  • Wind Chimes

Another, and very unique rain chain idea is to use a series of wind chimes all connected by a single chain. While this is not the best design if you want to collect the water for use somewhere else, it does have a unique feature. As the water trickles from your downspout, the natural flow will gently vibrate each wind chime making a melodious sound as the excess rainwater gently gets channeled to the ground.

The types of design ideas you can find for rain chains are endless. There are helpful do-it-yourself plans available, or you can search the market for professionally manufactured rain chains. Whatever your choice, you can add a pleasant decorative appeal to your home, while you gently disperse the water from your downspouts. To learn more, speak with a business like Monarch Rain Chains.

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Minimalist Blinds For Privacy

Choosing the right window treatment for room darkening and privacy can be a challenge, especially if you prefer the more minimalist design of blinds compared to the dramatic look of drapes. Fortunately, there are options. The following are just a few tips and ideas that can help manage this challenge.

Tip #1: Size matters

Many people choose blinds and shades to fit into the frame of the window. While this provides a sleeker look, it also means that there is a small chink between the window covering and shades that can allow in light or compromise privacy. Instead, opt for larger units and install them above the window frame – you can choose a simple and minimalistic valance box to disguise the top of the blinds. The sides should also hang over the edges of the window so there is no chink of light.

Tip #2: Consider style

Blinds and shades are similar, and sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. Blinds, though, actually consist of individual slats, while shades are solid pieces of window covering. There are roller shades, which roll up into a small tube above the window, or there are roman shades that use a pleated system to elevate them. You can even get shades backed in a blackout fabric to keep a room darker. Another option is honeycomb blinds. These have an insulated layer. Most are designed to allow in diffuse light, but they do provide optimum privacy.

Tip #3: Know how to close the blinds

If you go with standard blinds, know how to close them properly. Slanting the inside edge of the blinds up allows in a minimum of light and provides a maximum of privacy. Slanting down still allows in some light, and people outside of the window may be able to still make out silhouettes inside of the home.

Tip #4: Opt for privacy designs

Privacy shades can be a helpful option. These designs open from the top or bottom. You can even get them in multilayers, so that there is a light-blocking layer that you can pull up (or down) to darken a room, along with the sheer privacy layer that allows in light but not prying eyes. By being able to open these from the top down, as well as from the bottom up, you can also allow in full light from above while maintaining privacy below.

For more information or ideas, visit a window covering specialist like House Of Drapery.

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Four Tips When Selecting Drapes For A Child’s Room

Choosing the best draperies for your child’s room requires the consideration of many factors, including their primary function and style along with the important safety concerns. The following tips can help you choose a treatment that will help you address all of these considerations.

Tip #1: Watch for choking hazards

Curtain cords can be quite dangerous, posing a strangulation hazard for young children. It’s best to choose curtains that are moved aside manually, as opposed to those on a corded track, when using drapery in a kids’ room. If you must have track curtains, then choose those with encased cords or hang the cords up high enough so your child can’t reach them.

Tip #2: Consider the climbers

If your child is a climber, drapes may tempt them to try out their skills. One of the simplest ways to avoid this is to skip floor length curtains unless they are necessary for a floor length window – don’t simply use them in a kids room for design purposes. Another tactic is to choose lightweight curtains that your child can move aside or pull open easily. The temptation to climb may never occur if your child has easy window access and doesn’t perceive the drapes as heavy or strong enough to support them.

Tip #3: Select a Privacy Level

If your child’s bedroom window opens to your backyard, privacy may not be a major concern. If it opens onto the street, though, you may want to make sure that your child can’t be seen through the curtains when they are playing in their room at night. To manage this, opt for black out curtains. These have a liner that doesn’t allow light to shine through. As an added bonus, the drapes will also block out outside light which may help your little one sleep more soundly.

Tip #4: Go for easy cleaning

Your final concern should be with cleaning. As a general rule, dark colors or busy patterns are the best option if you don’t want the drapes to show stains from little fingers. If you do want some lighter colors in the room, another option is to choose a two tone curtain that is darker on the bottom – where a child is likely to touch it – and lighter on the top. It’s also a good idea to select drapes that are machine washable so you won’t have to take them to the dry cleaners every time your child uses them as a napkin.

For more information, visit or a similar website.

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Finding The Perfect Piece: Tips When You Are Shopping For Used Furniture

If you are looking for that perfect piece to complete your living room, shopping for used furniture can give you many options that will fit within any budget. When you visit a used furniture dealer, a quick look around the showcase and you will see the variety that is available to you. When you are ready to find some great pieces for your next decorating project, it’s time to head out and begin your bargain hunting.

Know Your Measurements

While you may have an idea of the type or style of chair you want, knowing the dimensions you need is important. If you have identified a specific area for your furniture, measure the area and write down the dimensions. You don’t want to find the perfect piece of furniture, only to find out you can’t put it in the place it was intended.

Look Beyond Rips and Stains

You don’t have to be a professional upholsterer to re-cover a piece of used furniture. If you have a bit of imagination and a willingness to learn, a disheveled piece of furniture can look brand new again with some love and care. If you find a piece of furniture that you love, but it is shabby looking, consider what you can do to the piece to make it look new again. You will create a unique piece of furniture that will look beautiful with your decor.

Choose Quality Hardwood Furniture

When you buy furniture that is used, quality hardwood furniture is your best option. Particle board or laminate furniture isn’t made to last long, and rarely does this type of furniture stand up to the wear and tear of a second or third owner. If you find used furniture made of solid hardwood, you will be able to use the furniture for many years to come.

Recycling at Its Best

When you buy used furniture, you are helping keep the earth a more sustainable place. Buying used furniture and reusing or re-purposing items is a valuable way you can reduce the waste that is in the world today. Invest in quality, used furniture for your home, as it is an excellent option.

Remember that when you are shopping for used furniture, just about anything you don’t like about the furniture can be changed. Whether you want to re-cover the piece, add stain, or lower the legs, you can find a way to do it. When you use some creativity, you will be able to beautifully decorate your home. Visit a site like to find used furniture that will fit your needs.

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Fabulous Finishes: How To Choose A Frame That Will Bring Out The Best In Your Cross-Stitched Sampler

Creating a beautiful cross-stitched sampler is truly a labor of love. You take the time to choose the best fabric and thread, and you spend many hours stitching your design before it is completed. Finally, you’re ready to frame your piece for display in your home.

Choosing the right frame can make a huge difference in the appearance of your stitched design. Unfortunately, the finishing process is one that often gets the least attention. Selecting the right frame will give your stitched sampler a fabulous finish.

Avoid cheap frames

Frames can be purchased for a few dollars at most department stores. However, while they may be fine for photos or certificates, they aren’t the best options for stitched work.  

Stitched work has more bulk than a simple photo or certificate. Cheaper frames may not be substantial enough to hold the weight of a piece of stitched fabric because they tend to be narrower than more expensive frames. You don’t want your sampler to appear as if it has been stuffed into a thin or flimsy frame.

Choose a custom picture frame

Unlike photos, stitched pieces tend to have unusual and varied finished sizes. Standard picture frames may not be available in the proper size you need. Using a frame that is too large or too small can distort the appearance of your stitched sampler.

Your best option is to take your finished project to a specialist like Artistic Wholesale Supply and have a frame custom designed. This will ensure that you get the best finished look possible. You won’t be forcing your lovely design into a frame of the wrong dimensions, and a custom size will allow you to leave the right amount of space between your stitching and the frame to create the best visual effect.

Choose a frame in the right color and material

If your piece will be used as a wall hanging, consider the room it will be used in when choosing a frame. If it will be used in a bathroom or kitchen, you should select a plastic frame that won’t be affected by moisture. You may also want to place the stitched piece behind glass for additional protection.

However, if you use glass, make sure you use a mat between the frame and the stitched sampler. A mat will provide just enough of a barrier to keep the stitched piece from having a flattened appearance from contact with the glass.

You can also choose a frame based on the color of thread used in the stitching if you want to draw out a specific color. If the stitched sampler has a country or primitive design, an antique frame will enhance the old-fashioned look of the design.

Choosing the best frame for your stitched sampler will prevent you from ending up with a mediocre finish to the sampler you spent hours creating. A well-framed piece of stitchery will not only look fabulous in your home, but it will also be a legacy of art you can pass on to future generations.

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Inexpensive Ideas For You To Complete Your Living Room Design

When you move into a new home, your main focus is on ensuring that you have all of the major items that you need for your comfort and home design. In your living room, this will include your couch and chairs, entertainment stand, and television among other things. However, even after you have these larger items set up, you may find yourself feeling as if your living room design is still incomplete. Getting this complete feeling to your style does not need to be an expensive or difficult endeavor. So become familiar with some of the inexpensive ways you can complete your living room design and get started in the process as soon as possible.

Find Cheap or Vintage Side Tables to Refinish

When you have couches and chairs already in your living room, you may want to add in side tables so that you can set your remote control, drinks, or other items next to you. However, your side tables do not have to cost you a great deal of money in order to be unique and stylish.

To start, go to a cheap furniture store, garage sale, thrift store, or even an antique shop and find yourself as many cheap side tables or end tables as you think you will need for your living room. These side tables do not need to match in color or your design, though if you prefer matching table designs, go ahead and do so.

Once you get the tables home, you can refinish them by sanding them down with sandpaper or a machine sander. Once your side tables are sanded down, you can paint them in any hues you would like to coordinate with your other furniture. You can also add stenciling, phrases or quotes, or can even use paint that looks antique to make your tables look classic and beautiful.

Make Your Own Wall Artwork

Another way to bring your living room design together is through the art on your wall. If you cannot afford to buy artwork, even art prints, there are ways around that. In the same types of shops or garage sales that you found your side tables, you can find used photo or art frames for very low prices.

Once you have several frames, you can then get creative. On the one hand, you can put the empty frames up on your walls as art in and of themselves. If you prefer to go in another direction, you can paint or draw your own pictures (abstract or otherwise) or you can even take clippings from magazines, swatches of fabric or pieces of wrapping paper and put these pieces in your new frames. This creates the illusion of intentional artwork without forcing you to spend the large amounts of money.

These ideas for inexpensive ways to complete your living room design can get you started in the process and help you to create a unique living room design for your new home. Remember that you do not have to break your budget to have a well-designed living room space if you are willing to put in the effort and be creative.

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Sustainable Landscaping With Edible Shrubs

Designing your home’s landscaping can be both exciting and a little overwhelming. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, it can be beneficial to design a sustainable landscape that will serve multiple purposes.

Incorporating edible shrubs into your landscape design ensures that you will have access to fresh food products simply by walking into your yard. Here are three edible shrubs that will allow you to create a more sustainable landscape in the future.

1. Raspberries

While many people are familiar with the juicy red raspberries that can be found at the local supermarket, many may not know that raspberries can actually be red, yellow, purple, or black. The purple and black raspberry varieties are perfect for inclusion in a sustainable landscape design, since these bushes produce rigid stems that are able to stand on their own.

Healthy raspberry bushes planted in your yard will bear fruit for up to 10 years, making them suitable options for homeowners hoping to design a more sustainable landscape around their homes,

2. Beach Plums

If you are looking for shrubbery to create a hedge for privacy in your yard, investing in some beach plum plants could be a great option. These plants have the ability to form new stems as their roots creep outward, creating a thicket that can grow up to 6 feet tall.

Since beach plums also produce a sweet fruit that ripens in the summer and fall, this shrub is perfect for inclusion in a sustainable landscape design. Just be sure that you plant at least two (and preferably more) beach plum plants to ensure proper cross-pollination occurs.

3. Rosemary

Cooking with fresh herbs and spices can be a delight. If you are hoping to include more fresh herbs in your own menu, then planting shrubs like rosemary could help. These fragrant shrubs can serve a valuable purpose as an evergreen hedge, since they commonly reach 3 feet (and even up to 5 feet in warmer climates) in height.

When you want to incorporate fresh rosemary into a recipe, simply cut a stem or two from your shrub. You can also preserve rosemary by drying it, or freezing sprigs for future use.

Finding edible shrubs to include in your landscape design is a simple way to make your yard more sustainable. Consider adding raspberry plants beach plum bushes, or rosemary bushes as you update your landscape design in the future. For more suggestions, contact local landscape services.

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