Use oak and western red cedar to improve your home


If you’re looking for that new look in your home and you’re not sure about what style to use, why not think about going for a classical wood look and really shake things up. Surprisingly, using woods like western red cedar and oak has really come back into fashion, tired of the minimalistic cold look that ultra-modernism brought, people are looking back to the days when furniture and homes were styles with wood for that classical, high quality feel.

Incorporating oak and red cedar into your rooms

So where exactly can you incorporate beautiful woods like these into your home? Well the answer is unsurprisingly pretty much anywhere, wood is an extremely versatile material that looks pretty good almost anywhere. My favourite thing to do at the moment is to mix modern styles with classical, so typically I’ll take a wooden feature like a battered old oak table and put it in the middle of some modern furnature. The mix of modern and classical can really work, I’ve achieved an extremely nice effect in my dining area that all of my friendly compliment me on.

One of my favourite types woods to use at the moment is oak which can be shaped and modelled to suit any room. I have oak beams on my ceiling which through years of wood staining have taken on a dark and ominous tone. That sounds rather dingy I know but coupled with my white walls, the contrast produces a very nice and pleasing effect. Oak beams used for oak flooring also product a rather nice classical feel. My personal preference is to use untreated floorboards made from oak, traditionally people would varnish and shine them but left untreated they can warp and produce a nice rustic feel.

What about oak furniture?

Yes, solid oak furniture should never be overlooked, it can add a touch of class to any home. I mentioned my dining table earlier, but wooden cabinets and draws are increasingly making a huge comeback. You only have to take a stroll through the Next home department to see what I mean, the place is literally teaming with oak furniture but usually with a modern twist. For that modern twist, it seems fashionable at the moment to slope the corners of wooden furniture, rather than having a straight sharp edge furniture stores are increasingly holding stock that is styled in this way.

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Automating your curtains

motorised curtain tracks

These days there are few items in our homes that can’t be automated in some way and curtains are no exception to this. It is now possible to buy fully automated curtains but why would you want to automated them and what advantages do they offer you over regular curtains?

Why you need motorised and automated curtains

Now, you don’t need me to tell you about regular curtains, they’ve been around since people first started building homes and needed somethings to give them privacy. A Motorised curtain track goes one better though, they can close with little to no interaction from you. The reason this is such a big advantage is because motorised curtains can close without you even being at home, the implications for your home security are profound. Let me give you an example of when they prove to be extremely useful, if you’re away on holidays and you’re worried about you house appearing empty, you can set your curtains on auto, to close at a set time and they’ll do so, each and every day your away. To anyone looking from the outside, you house appears to be still occupied.

What else to automated curtains do?

The elderly in particular can benefit from these types of curtain. If you know someone who has a restricted range of movement and finds it hard to carry out simple household tasks, having their curtains operated by remote can be a big boost to them. Suddenly finding that you can close your own curtains without assistance can be a big boost to self confidence and independence.

So how exactly do they work and do you need to make changes to your windows in order to use them? The answer is no, you can simply buy an automated curtain pole and use your regular curtains. No special purchases are necessary at all. The only parts that are automated are the actual curtain slides themselves, these are what the motor drives so with the installation of the control box and an electric curtain pole, you’re good to go.

So if you’re looking to automated your home and quite frankly if you’re feeling a little lazy, then motorised curtains may well be the way to go.

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Home improvement and automation – wood with technology

Be sure to check out my post on motorised curtain track.

My style is unique, I must say that. There’s no one else out there at the moment in all of the home improvement and house design blogs and magazines that are decorating the way that I am at the moment.

I like to think that I tastefully blend the old and the new. I love to keep the characteristics of my home, while making it suitable for the modern world. I live in an old barn conversion which is full of wooden beams that are older then even me! There was a time when I contemplated covering over these old oak beams but instead I decided to make a feature of them.

Once I decided to do this, I had a great idea on what I would like the rest of my home to look like. I thought, I always see these ultra modern designs that are good for their own reasons but are not to my taste and I also see classical designs which I quite like. My idea was, why not make a blend of the two.

Now there are some pitfalls to decorating in this way, it can be far too easy sometimes to create a tacky look that just doesn’t work but with a little care I believe that I have been able to avoid this in my own decorations. A great example of what I’m talking about is a custom wooden lamp that I had made, the lamp looks very traditional and not out of place in my home but at the same time it is automated to me electronically controlled via a wifi connection. This means that when I enter my home, I can switch the lamp of via my mobile phone.

Now I know that a remotely controlled lamp may be a tad over the top for some people but it is this attention to detail that really sets my home apart from other homes that I see and visit. In some future blog posts I’m going to be talking about other items that you can use to automate your home such as electric curtains, that at the same time add real character and a touch of your own style.

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