Category Archives: Informational

French Country Style: How to Add Rural Charm to Any Room

French style home exteriorFrench country style has been a popular design choice for many years. This can give any room in your home an elegant and timeless look. A report by Realtor.com explains that this style trend started in the United States during the mid-20th century.

When giving your home a touch of the French countryside, expect to use materials like wrought iron, which Artmexinc.com says can add beauty to your interior; it also lasts a long time. Other notable elements of the French country style are painted furniture and exposed beams. Most of the designs took inspiration from the countryside, like Provence.

Achieve a Chic Living Room

Windows are some elements you need to consider to achieve a chic French country living room. Remember not to overwhelm them with heavy drapes. Keep natural light coming in to illuminate the space. Try using sheer panels to maintain the sunshine without compromising your privacy.

You may also play with fabrics that you’re using in the space. Using certain prints is a common way to add a French feel to a room. Toile de Jouy is a popular design that reflects Provence. You can use this print in your upholstery, curtains, or wallpaper.

It’s also helpful to mix and match pieces of furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and tables. For example, select accent chairs, like a pair of wingback chairs or a bergère chair, to give your living room a stately feel.

Sleep in a Warm, Welcoming Bedroom

Incorporating French country style into your bedroom is an excellent way to make it look feminine, colorful, welcoming, and casual. If done properly, you don’t have to worry about overpowering your personal style.

Colors play an important role when you’re styling any room in a French country way. Generally, you may use warm, muted colors, like off-whites, earth tones, and muted pastels and jewel tones. For your bedroom, you can use different airy, pastel hues along with strong, vibrant accents.

Popular palettes include creamy white and pastel tints of yellow, orange, and red together with various shades of gold, burgundy, sage green, sky blue, and black.

French country style is also an excellent way to add contrast. Have fun layering fabrics with different patterns and textures to create an interesting visual appeal. You may also incorporate other elements in the room to create contrast, including the floor, wooden furniture, and headboard.

Eat and Cook in Classic French Country Style

The dining room and the kitchen are also ideal areas to use French country style. For your kitchen, consider having exposed ceiling beams, open shelving, and distressed wood floors. This combination can add charm to the communal space.

Wrought iron décor and furniture can add a rustic look to your kitchen, too, especially with wooden materials. You can choose from iron shelves, tables, or chairs.

If you want to use a chandelier in your dining room, better mix them well with other elements to achieve the look you want. For example, using a high-end chandelier and antique table and chairs will give your dining room an authentic Provence design.

A French country interior never goes out of style. It’s the perfect way to introduce a bit of rural ambiance while still maintaining a hint of elegance.

3 Common Will Writing Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Last Will and Testament Document Ready to SignThe general belief is that drafting a will is as easy as assigning assets to intended beneficiaries. This is just a small fraction of what a will entails. It becomes even more challenging to write one if you have a larger, extended family. This blog highlights some of the mistakes that you must watch out for when writing a will.

Not including children born out of wedlock

Legally, each of your biological children, whether born out of wedlock or not, has a right to a fair share in the property of their parents. If you find it somewhat complicated, it’s vital to ask for professional advice from experienced solicitors. Failure to include even one of them can lead to decades of persistent conflicts over your assets. It’s often prudent to account for all the children, plus those still in their mother’s womb, in your estate plan.

Writing a will before marriage

Ideally, a will set up before marriage has no legal effect. Reason being, after marriage, there will be dependants. You will have a spouse and children to not only support but who will also act as heirs when you pass on. It makes sense to draft estate plan after you’ve obtained an accurate figure of the number of beneficiaries that must be included therein.

Failure to update your will

Changes are inevitable in a family, and some of them might happen even after you have written your will. There could be deaths or births. Some old assets will be sold as new ones are acquired. It’s important that you cancel and add new information depending on the changes that have taken place. Failure to do this would mean some of your assets go to unintended heirs.

Wills and estate plans can be challenging to understand, and if you are not careful, you can always make mistakes. The best move is to draft a will under the advice of a capable lawyer.

HDPE Pipes: Types and Applications in Sewer System Installation

man fixing connecting pipesIf you are installing drainage systems underground or fitting electrical systems, you need pipes that can be installed easily and have high resistance levels to harsh weather and corrosive chemicals. High-density polyethylene or HDPE piping systems are such kinds of pipes. They make an excellent alternative to the traditional metal pipes. HDPE pipes are robust but flexible and easy to use.

Among the most common types of these HDPE pipes that you can use for different applications include:

Corrugated Pipes

Leading pipe system manufacturer Acu-Tech Piping Systems shares that you can have HDPE pipes come with improved properties for handling extreme environmental stress and chemicals. The pipes are lightweight and flexible; however, they are strong and resistant to pressure and shock. The main categories are single-wall and double-wall corrugated pipes. The latter have extra reinforcing layers to handle extremely high pressure and heavy loads.

Perforated Pipes

Perforated pipes are an advancement of corrugated pipes. They are suitable for underground installation of drainage systems. These pipes are heat-resistant, are leak-proof, and exhibit high strength properties. The pipes can handle the transportation of both solid and liquid substances.

Sewer Pipes

These pipes are suitable for use in distributing heavy loads. They are better than metal pipes because of the highly corrosive nature of the materials in sewer systems. The good thing is that sewer pipes can serve both low and high cover applications. You can have these pipes in extensive lengths to ease the installation process when covering an entire drainage system.

HDPE piping systems are highly applicable to robust applications such as the installation of a drainage system. It is crucial that you make sure that your HDPE pipes meet the industry standards, right from the manufacturing, transportation, to the application process. However, you do not have to worry about that if you buy your pipes from a reliable supplier. It is also crucial that you choose the right pipes from the right supplier.

How Much Should You Spend on Boat Maintenance?

Spending on Boat Maintenance

Insurance and protective equipment such as custom boat covers comprise some of the recurring expenses for boat owners, and the cost depends on different factors.

Some of these factors include operating costs. How often do you take your boat to the lake or sea? Each trip requires fuel, which can be expensive for certain models. A sailboat, for instance, only consumes up to two gallons of fuel in a single trip, as opposed to a triple-engine center console.

Regular Expenses

Aside from gas, the right kind of engine oil also requires boat owners to be particular about their purchase. Even if you decide to buy an electric boat, the electricity bill will replace the cost of fuel. Of course, maintenance and repairs will add to your recurring expenses.

More frequent trips mean more chances of wear and tear, so you should expect to pay for services such as bottom paint and engine tune-ups more frequently. Don’t put off simple repairs for too long, since the problem becomes worse with each passing day.

Insurance Costs

In the US, the average cost of boat insurance costs almost $430 every year. The actual amount depends on certain factors, including your location. Those in Florida pay more than most states with the annual insurance rate worth $611.

Texas boat owners pay $531 every year for insurance. The reason for these two states’ high rates likely has to do with the popularity of boating. On the other hand, Alabama’s insurance rates are among the lowest in the country at $282 per year.

The cost of boat ownership can be daunting, but the pleasurable experience of boating serves as the reason why many Americans still want to buy one. Some purchases might be unnecessary, but you should prioritize items that help in prolonging the good condition of your personal watercraft.

The Significance of Beauty Salons and Spas in Film

woman having a haircutSalons have long been featured in a number of light-hearted comedy films like Legally Blonde and Hairspray. These films portray the salons as places that make its customers not only look but also feel good.

Beauty salons and spas have indeed become popular cinematic settings that promote friendship and solidarity. Here’s a closer look at the stories that have been filmed in salons throughout the years.

Geek-to-Chic Transformation

Using salon equipment, a geeky or bookish girl is stereotypically transformed into a version of herself seen as prettier by her peers. Examples of this include The Princess Diaries, in which the geeky female protagonist receives a manicure, pedicure and hair treatment to become more beautiful. Thanks to the salon-grade treatment, her social status at school improves.

Girl/Guy Transformation

Another kind of salon scene in films is when the girl or guy becomes someone of the opposite gender. This transformation is comedic, but with a serious purpose. In White Chicks, the two black male protagonists receive a makeover to become white females who have to solve a case undercover. In the movie She’s The Man, the female lead undergoes a makeover to masquerade as her twin brother, who has to secretly go abroad.

Bonding with Peers

Other salon scenes don’t typically involve physical transformations but portray moments wherein two people bond over a mutual problem. For example, the female lead in Legally Blonde befriends a salon owner with whom she shares problems with men. Eventually, they both fix their dilemmas with each other’s assistance.

Placing a movie scene in a beauty shop allows the filmmaker to gather the characters in a fun and believable way. While this shows the entertainment purpose of salons and spas in film, this also echoes the real-life problems that get fixed at these places—be it on self-confidence, romance, or work.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Equipment in Good Shape

kitchen equipment in a professional kitchenYour commercial kitchen is a totally different world compared to what’s beyond its walls. It’s your own realm where you cook the best recipes your customers love. And your kitchen equipment plays a big role here.

SuperiorWaterConditioners.com explains that the minerals in the water you use can build up and damage your kitchen equipment. Dirt and dust can block air filters and make your equipment overheat. These things can be dangerous, as chefs work and move around your kitchen. Here are five kitchen equipment maintenance tips to ensure that everything’s in good condition at all times.

1. Keep Refrigerator Units Clean and Dry​

Always check your gaskets, coils, air filters, and drain pans and make sure they’re cleaned regularly. If these parts develop build up, it can affect the cooling abilities of your refrigerator and everything inside it.

2. Monitor Equipment for Gas Leaks or Electrical Damage

Fryers, ovens, stoves, and grills must always be cleaned and monitored for any damage to their gas hose or electrical wiring. Neglecting regular maintenance on this equipment can be dangerous to anyone working near it.

3. Keep OEM Manuals Handy

These manuals should be easily accessible should your equipment break down or get damaged. Keep manuals in a secure place near the specified equipment and where any employee can reach it.

4. Train All Employees on Proper Use​

Training everyone who will be working in your kitchen is crucial to your business. Kitchen equipment can be dangerous if mishandled or used for a different purpose than what it’s intended for. Proper training on how to use the equipment should be mandatory.

5. Keep a Regular Inspection and Maintenance Schedule

Inspecting and maintaining your equipment on a regular basis will help you see if there are any parts that need to be changed or repaired. Besides the regular schedule, you can also do spot checks for extra security.

You can assign one person to stay on top of your maintenance schedule to make sure it’s not neglected. Keeping your kitchen equipment well-maintained doesn’t only benefit your business and the customer satisfaction. It also keeps you and your staff safe from any kitchen hazard.

4 Design Options for Highly Functional Mezzanine Floors

office workspaceYou probably already know that mezzanine floors are a great addition when you want to increase space within your premises. However, choosing the right mezzanine floors can be quite a task. Ideally, it is your intended purpose for installing these specialty floors that will determine the design that will be most appropriate for your business. Adexgroup.com.au lists the four design options you have.

Stick to Your Theme

Expanding the vertical storage capacity in your space does not give you room to interfere with existing interior décor and design. You may find the vertical space inadequate, but consulting with the manufacturer of these mezzanine systems can help you find the best theme to utilise the space.

Revamp Your Workplace

If you have been looking to create a new look for your workplace, mezzanine systems are an excellent choice, which comes at a fair cost. These floor options are available in different designs and are stylish, thus creating functional workspaces. That, in effect, will motivate your workers, thus increasing workplace efficiency.

Accessibility

Prioritise working with a manufacturer that does not concentrate overmuch on the external beauty of a mezzanine system that they compromise on its functionality. You want your mezzanines to be accessible to the users else you will not be making good use of these systems. You can even incorporate lifts or industrial stairs to enhance accessibility to the mezzanine systems.

Don't Clutter It

Retail businesses use mezzanine floors to open the area below the mezzanine. It is advisable you keep the mezzanine clutter free to enable your customers to access your goods with ease, besides creating an appealing space.

The manufacturer and installers you will involve in constructing these industrial mezzanine stairs and floor systems are equally important in determining the final look. Also, prioritise doing extensive research on the mezzanine systems that will best enhance workplace productivity while providing the required functionality.

Types of Finishes for Steel Strapping

steel strapSteel strapping has been a favourite bundling material for ages. These straps have low elongation and very high tensile strength, making them ideal for bulky products. Steel straps are also UV resistant, making them suitable for outdoor storage.

One of the concerns of most people in using steel straps is their risk of corrosion and premature wear. But manufacturers have come up with various finishes for steel strapping systems to counter rust and premature wear. Here are some of the finishes available for steel straps.

Pro Zinc-Silver Finish

This is the ideal finish where superior anti-corrosion is required. Pro zinc-silver finishing undergoes a waxing to ensure your strapping tools do not get clogged up with the product. The finish does not impact your strapping’s tensile strength, and pro zinc silver-finished steel straps can be used for high tensile applications. Pro zinc-silver finished straps can also be used for products that are stored outdoors for a long time.

Blued and Waxed Finish

This finish is achieved using a heat process that burns off all foreign material from the steel strap, protecting your straps from rust. The resultant finish is bluish-black, which is then waxed to hold in place. Though economical, a blued and waxed finish offers minimal rust protection and is ideal for areas with minimum rust risk.

Painted and Waxed Finish

Rather than rust protection, a painted and waxed finish primarily protects your strap from premature wear. A rigid baked-on paint is applied on both sides of your strapping then sealed with a wax covering. The standard paint colour for steel straps is black though other colours are available on special order.

From these finishing options, you can be assured of your strap’s superior performance. The ideal finish for your straps primarily depends on your storage, environmental conditions and shipping. There is nothing stopping you from investing in durable, high-quality steel straps.

Why Australian Exporters Need to Invest More in Product Strapping

Fruits and vegetablesAccording to X-Pak, poly-woven strapping and other cargo-securing products will be more necessary for Australian fruit exporters, as the country expands its overseas destinations for shipments.

For instance, the government recently struck a trade deal with Japan for the export of Hass avocados. A report also showed that there is a potential to add six tropical fruits into the current mix of exported products.

New Trade Deal

The export agreement with Japan includes a condition for local exporters that have no problems with the Queensland fruit fly, according to Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud. These companies would not be required to treat their avocados before shipping them to Japan.

Avocado growers in Western Australia would particularly benefit from the trade deal. About 21 per cent of farms nationwide are in the state. The value of export shipments of avocados would also increase due to growing demand from other countries, including Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The growth momentum may be sustainable if they successfully add six tropical fruit products to the roster of exported produce.

Tropical Shipments

Bananas, limes, lychees, papaya, passion fruit and persimmons comprise the six tropical fruits that can spur new opportunities for the export market, according to the Australian Tropical Fruit Export Strategies 2023 report.

This would be contingent on companies’ storage and handling of perishable items, especially for papayas due to the highly perishable state. Efficient strapping solutions could be a solution for this, whether or not products are prone to spoilage.

On the other hand, businesses could market bananas as a high-end export thanks to Australia’s best practices on sustainable production, which then provides a unique colour and taste.

Export shipments need to be secure to prevent damaged products. This also helps the country in maintaining its reputation as an excellent source of fresh produce.

3 Considerations to Make before Deciding on Your Product’s Packaging

Product packagingProduct development is a long and challenging process. You start with coming up with a product that could fill a gap in the market. You proceed with developing a marketing strategy through which you could sell your product. And, on the latter end of the process, you come up with the most enticing packaging.

As for the logistics of packaging, there’s not much to fret about given there are accessible packaging solutions in the market such as the automatic carton packing machine. Your concern, however, should involve the packaging’s actual look and design. These are what you need to consider.

Brand

Our highly globalized markets have become rather competitive. To get noticed in a horde of similar market offers, strong branding is key. When your product goes through careful branding, chances are you’ll get your packaging right as well.

Message

On average, consumers read only seven words the entire duration of their shopping trip. They instinctively respond, however, to colours, shapes and designs. These are all packaging-related. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that the best way to convey your message as a brand is by co-opting the subliminal powers of colours, shapes, and designs, aside from whatever text you decide to include in your packaging.

Target Consumer

Knowing your target market is integral to effective packaging. Consumers respond to a sense of emotional attachment to products on display. This is something you cannot maximise if you have not laid out who you are selling to in the first place.

Packaging, when done effectively, will entice customers to try your product. This is the most you can aspire for if you’re new in the market. And the mere fact that a consumer bought your product due to its outside look and design should already be considered as a kind of triumph. But it does not stop there. Now your actual product has to deliver.