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French Interior Design and Decorating

French interior design is bold, sophisticated, and of course chic. A touch of French style can be integrated into your own home with the minimum of ease and you can choose how strong you want the look to be.

Invest in some wall hangings or decorations if you want to add a few subtle touches but if you want to go the whole hog then investigate typical wall colours and flooring options as well as fabrics and furniture.

An easy way to inject some French style into your home is through use of accessories. Venetian glass is a decorative choice not just for wall mirrors but for candle stands and picture frames too.

Typical French country style accessories include wall paintings and adornments which are often painted white, crystal chandeliers or simple potted lavender plants. Roosters are a favourite in French country design and can be found on everything from cushion covers to wallpaper.

Parisian apartments have a different feel to their country counterparts and the decorating styles found in Paris span over several periods, including baroque, rococo, and neoclassical. Contemporary Parisian apartments frequently incorporate art deco and old world.

Whatever style you are basing your look on, mirrors can play a key part. Popular within all types of French interior design there are many different types of mirror to suit the overall mood you are creating.

French mirrors range from freestanding to large antique wall mirrors, antique painted versions as well as gilt and decorative options so you shouldn't have any problem locating the right one for your home.

Furniture is another straightforward way to introduce some French style. French country style tends to use upholstered furniture with carved wooden frames, carved legs and upholstered seats and backs.

Wrought iron and distressed metal are an important element of the country feel. Look for wrought iron or distressed lamps, tables, and clocks. You could also shop around for items of furniture such as four poster beds, dressing tables, wardrobes and chests.

Antique or heirloom furniture is commonplace and a rummage at an antique fair or even the local flea market can reap handsome rewards.

When it comes to wall colour you can opt for rich, strong hues which are reminiscent of the sun-drenched Mediterranean. The softer, more muted shades which are also very popular include lavender, ivory, pale shell pink and dusty lilac.

Your choice of colour will depend on what the room is used for as well as the amount of light that filters in.

Flooring is important too, especially if you are trying to create a continuous look throughout the home. Limestone flooring is frequently used in French style homes. In true Parisian style, hardwood flooring could be stained dark and covered with old Oriental carpets.

Quality furnishings, rich colours and carefully thought-out details, such as the use of French mirrors and accessories, all help to create a stylish and authentic look no matter where in the world you are.


Sparkling Blinds in No Time

As with all investments for the home, you will want to keep any new additions from damage and ensure they stay in tip-top condition. Window blinds may not be the first thing that spring to mind when considering maintenance in and around the home, but they are an important commodity to look after if you want to hold onto them for the foreseeable future.

Due to the position of blinds, they are prone to collect a lot of dust and debris, so the best way to keep them looking good as new is simply to clean them regularly. This should be a fairly straightforward task and cleaning instructions depend on which material your blinds are created from.

Begin the blind cleaning process by dusting to get rid of any debris. The dusting attachment on your vacuum cleaner is an effective means of getting rid of all the unwanted dust. Vacuum each side of the blind to make sure you get all the dust from the front and back, and if you have a Venetian or shutter style then make sure you vacuum in between each slat.

If you do not have a vacuum cleaner or dusting attachment then use a dry cloth to dislodge any unwanted dust particles - static cling dusters are also particularly handy as they attract dust and are clean and easy to use. Avoid feather dusters as they are likely to simply spread the dust around even more, making such cleaning tasks more difficult.

If your blinds are lightly marked then use a damp cloth or some antibacterial wipes to remove the offending stains. For material blinds use warm water only, and apply a mild soap to clean any stains on the fabric.

If you have metal blinds then make sure you don't apply too much pressure when cleaning them, as they are easily bent and will only cause permanent damage. If you find it easier, you can remove the whole metal blind, lay it out flat and clean with a hose or bucket of water. Whatever you do, don't clean wood or fabric blinds this way as the water will ruin them.

What's more, use some furniture polish and a dry duster to polish faux wood blinds - dusting the blinds thoroughly will repel dust. It is also possible for some types of polish to come with anti-dust ingredients, which could possibly help in the fight against dust and debris. However, lemon oil is a natural alternative if you don't like to use chemicals in the home.

Alternatively, rubbing a tumble dryer sheet over wood or metal window blinds works well to repel dust and dirt and should minimise the frequency at which you have to do a thorough clean of your window blinds. With so many cleaning tips available, there really is no reason not to keep your window blinds looking new.


Add a Romantic and Old World Feel to Your Bedroom Decor With a Vanity Bench

One of the easiest ways to add a romantic or Old World feel to your bedroom's decor is by adding a vanity bench or set. By placing one of these vanity benches in your bedroom or dressing space, you can create a design element that cannot be obtained using other types of furniture.

Vanity benches remind us of a past era where it was okay to slow down and to linger over everyday tasks like putting on make up or brushing one's hair. Today, this luxury can still be part of your day when you place a gorgeous vanity bench in your bedroom or dressing room.

Not only are vanity benches practical, they are also very beautiful and come in a wide range of styles and finishes to coordinate with almost any d�cor. In fact, you can find a bedroom bench in all of the popular styles including English, Provence and Victorian, just to name a few.

Take for instance the English Country vanity bench, armoire and mirror by Powell furniture. This vanity bench features elegant details like those found in finely crafted furniture. Finished in a lustrous, satin finish, the English vanity bench is designed using fine moldings and classic turnings. The bench of this exquisite set is upholstered with light brown Chenille fabric.

If you prefer something a little more romantic, perhaps you would enjoy the Victorian Round vanity bench. This bench features an elegantly curved wrought iron back and sturdy base which is finished in a black matte color. The comfortable seat is upholstered using a fine, natural colored fabric.

Or maybe you are looking for something with truly an "Old World" feel. If so, you might appreciate the charms of the Heirloom Vanity, Bench and Mirror Set. This set is finished with an "Heirloom Cherry" finish and features Queen Anne legs and brass plated hardware. The matching bench also has elegantly curved Queen Anne legs and is upholstered with a rich, black, floral fabric.

If simple furnishings are more suited to your tastes, maybe you should take into consideration the Garden vanity bench and mirror Set. This set features an elegantly scrolled metal frame which is finished in a black matte texture and a glass top. The fully upholstered vanity bench is covered in rich damask tone-on-tone tapestry.

The bottom line is that no matter what style you prefer or how sophisticated your tastes are, you are sure to find the perfect vanity bench to accent your most intimate spaces. And you will not go broke while doing so. Most vanity benches, even those on the higher end, are very reasonably priced and average in cost at approximately $300 to $400. Of course, you can spend more than that, or less, depending on your tastes and how far your budget can take you.

But no matter what you choose or how much you spend, you will love the added design element that only vanity benches can your living space. So if your space is lacking in that romantic feel, maybe you should start browsing the large selection of vanity benches today.


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