Design The Eco Friendly Bathroom: Guide to Living Green, Healthy And Sustainable With Minimal Effort

Most bathrooms are the least eco-friendly room in the house. Unnatural bath and body products, plastic bottles, toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, hair combs and brushes are not good for the environment. The chemicals in the high performance bath and shower cleaners have so many toxic chemicals that they can cause cancer, birth defects and lung damage. The place to get clean needs to be the place to get clean of non-disposables, synthetic ingredients, harmful sprays and perfumes in cleaners and skin care products.

Non-disposable chic beauty

Going non-disposable is a beautiful thing-and it’s stylish as well. With more people on the planet every day, ecological consciousness and sustainability is becoming part of the global awareness. Here are some totally cool non-disposable items you can have in your bathroom in place of the old throwaways. They work better, last for decades and they look amazing. With an eco meets vintage feel, your bathroom can feel like yours again and not a miniature dumping site.

The safety razor

Your dad or grandfather probably had one and maybe you forgot they existed! The safety razors are still here to get you a closer shave and save you the time and expense of buying new razors and razor heads. The safety razor heads last longer than other ones and they are made with natural, strong materials.

The wooden toothbrush

Lovely wooden and bamboo toothbrushes make all the difference because they are compostable and pure. Now your whole family can have their own wooden toothbrush made from natural fibers. The wooden toothbrush is no longer a thing of the past. You can feel good about buying new grooming tools with a sustainable approach.

The body brush

Now you can throw out your plastic poof for something more substantial. If you have an old boar bristle brush with a hole in the handle you can string some ribbon through it to make a hanging shower brush. Just rub some olive oil into the brush before putting it in the shower. Wooden body brushes made especially for shower use are good options, too. Natural shower brushes work a lot better at removing dead skin cells than a plastic poof.

The sea sponge

Ethically harvested sea sponges feel so good on your skin and are another natural alternative to plastic shower poofs. Sea sponges last forever, get your skin micro-exfoliated and smooth to the touch. Nothing gets your skin feeling smooth like a sea sponge in the shower. It holds a lot of soap so you don’t have to keep refilling it. Sea sponges make thoughtful gifts for yourself or your friends.

Linen shower curtain

Shower curtains don’t have to be made of plastic. Materials made from hemp or cotton make natural looking, classy shower curtains for your bath or shower. These materials are attractive, neutral, fast drying and safe for the environment. You don’t have to worry about tears that come with cheap plastic shower curtains.

Natural cleaning products

Natural cleaning agents like Super Washing Soda, Borax and baking soda clean effectively without the fumes and chemical residue. If you have children or pets you need to use cleaning agents as close to nature as possible. Lemon, orange and lavender essential oils give your cleaning agents more antibacterial power and make you feel relaxed and energized while cleaning. Breath deeply and relax. Cleaning can be therapeutic.

Turn your bathroom into the wholesome oasis it was meant to be. Simplicity is the theme to make this special room a place of meditation and retreat. Re-purposing old items to make a safer place will make buying newer items like toothbrush holders, etc less necessary. Eco-friendly, natural bathroom accessories will help you to fill in the gaps when there is something your bathroom really needs.



Why We Wear New Clothes on Easter – A History of the Tradition From a Fashion School Perspective

Many of us can remember our parents dressing us up in new clothes every Easter so we could parade around the neighborhood in our finest. It was a fun tradition to look forward to (or avoid, as some fashion-phobic children were known to do), whether we went to church or not. But where did this tradition come from? A look through history shows that its origins are not what we might expect. And examining the custom from a fashion school point of view, we see how changing retailing patterns have altered its significance.

Origins in other cultures. Although we associate wearing new clothes in spring with the Easter holiday, the tradition dates back to ancient times. Pagan worshipers celebrated the vernal equinox with a festival in honor of Ostera, the Germanic Goddess of Spring, and believed that wearing new clothes brought good luck. The Iranian new year, celebrated on the first day of Spring, has traditions rooted in the ancient pre-Islamic past. These traditions include spring cleaning and wearing new clothes to signify renewal and optimism. Similarly, the Chinese have celebrated its spring festival, also known as Lunar New Year, by wearing new clothes. It symbolized not only new beginnings, but the idea that people have more than they possibly need.

Christian beginnings. In the early days of Christianity, newly baptized Christians wore white linen robes at Easter to symbolize rebirth and new life. But it was not until 300 A.D. that wearing new clothes became an official decree, as the Roman emperor Constantine declared that his court must wear the finest new clothing on Easter. Eventually, the tradition came to mark the end of Lent, when after wearing weeks of the same clothes, worshipers discarded the old frocks for new ones.

Superstitions. A 15th-century proverb from Poor Robin’s Almanack stated that if one’s clothes on Easter were not new, one would have bad luck: “At Easter let your clothes be new; Or else for sure you will it rue.” In the 16th Century during the Tudor reign, it was believed that unless a person wore new garments at Easter, moths would eat the old ones, and evil crows would nest around their homes.

Post Civil War. Easter traditions as we know it were not celebrated in America until after the Civil War. Before that time, Puritans and the Protestant churches saw no good purpose in religious celebrations. After the devastation of the war, however, the churches saw Easter as a source of hope for Americans. Easter was called “The Sunday of Joy,” and women traded the dark colors of mourning for the happier colors of spring.

The Easter Parade. In the 1870s, the tradition of the New York Easter Parade began, in which women decked out in their newest and most fashionable clothing walked between the beautiful gothic churches on Fifth Avenue. The parade became one of the premier events of fashion design, a precursor to New York Fashion Week, if you will. It was famous around the country, and people who were poor or from the middle class would watch the parade to witness the latest trends in fashion design. Soon, clothing retailers leveraged the parade’s popularity and used Easter as a promotional tool in selling their garments. By the turn of the century, the holiday was as important to retailers as Christmas is today.

The American Dream. By the middle of the 20th Century, dressing up for Easter had lost much of any religious significance it might have had, and instead symbolized American prosperity. A look at vintage clothing ads in a fashion school library shows that wearing new clothes on Easter was something every wholesome, All-American family was expected to do.

Attitudes today. Although many of us may still don new clothes on Easter, the tradition doesn’t feel as special, not because of any religious ambivalence, but because we buy and wear new clothes all the time. At one time in this country, middle class families shopped only one or two times a year at the local store or from a catalog. But in the last few decades, retailing options have boomed. There’s a Gap on every corner, and countless internet merchants allow us to shop 24/7. No wonder young people today hear the Irving Berlin song “Easter Parade” and have no idea what it means.

It’s interesting to see where the tradition of wearing new clothes on Easter began, and how it’s evolved through the years. Even with changing times, however, the custom will surely continue in some form. After all, fashionistas love a reason to shop.



Steamers Aren’t Just For Clothes

If you purchase an individual or a professional garment steamer, they aren’t just for your clothes. The handheld steamers have a variety of uses that you should look into. If you’re looking to purchase a garment steamer, there are many benefits beyond nicely pressed clothes. Find out how a handheld steamer can assist you with day to day errands and provide benefits to you.

The hand steamer, of course, was designed to make steaming your outfit easy. It can be used for a variety of other uses though. For example, the garment steamers are great for steaming your curtains. Your curtains always need to look great, and you can purchase them at the store, plug in the handheld steamer, and steam them up. When you hang them, they’ll look fresh. This will also work if you want to steam a set you currently have up and add a little life to them.

The garment steamers are also great for removing dust mites off of certain fabrics. Generally, you’ll find that a lot of dust mites will built up in your bed sheets. By using a mini steamer, you can remove the majority of these dust mites from your bed sheets. For people that have issues with allergies, this is a huge deal. Just by simply using a handheld steamer to steam your sheets, you’ll reduce the allergens in your area. If you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies, you may be able to prevent a lot of the problem by using a garment steamer.

If you’re in the market for a steamer, there are a lot of different uses. Your mini steamer can be used to clean and press curtains. A handheld steamer can also be used to get rid of allergens from your sheets. Whatever your needs are, you’ll find a steamer that will work for you, and help you with the tasks you need created.



Swallow Tattoos – Exploring the Symbolic Meaning of Swallow Tattoo Designs

Swallow tattoos have played a special symbolic part among various world cultures for thousands of years. Nowadays, these tattoos are still immensely popular and are often considered merely for the fashion and beauty aspect of swallow art. However, some of these designs have a deeper personal meaning as well.

Meaning of Swallow Tattoos

Since swallow tattoos have been an incredibly popular choice for body art fans, it naturally lends the question: What swallow tattoo meaning could apply to you?

The historic designs of swallow tattoos goes back hundreds of years and begins with the plight of sailors. When a crew was sailing a long distance on the ocean, typically 5,000 nautical miles or across the equator, the travels were often full of hardship, sickness, starvation, and quite commonly, death. One sign that their travels were nearing an end was the appearance of swallows. Because these birds never traveled far out to sea, their sighting meant that land was near and the long voyage was coming to an end. This fact led many sailors to start adopting swallow tattoo designs as a symbol of hope and a successful finish to a long journey. As a followup to this story, having a tattoo depicting 2 swallows indicated going on a very long journey (10,000 nautical miles or more) and a swallow tattoo with a dagger through its heart symbolized a memorial for a friend lost at sea.

A different anecdote describes swallow tattoos as a symbol of a mutiny that occurred on a ship called ‘The Swallow’. Each of the 7 sailors described in this story had a swallow bird design on their chest to show their support for the mutiny.

As time passed, swallow tattoos have come to symbolize different meanings to different people. Some see the swallow art as a symbol of success or triumph. Others decide to get swallow bird tattoos to signify the return home after a long departure, such as a soldier coming back from war. Another popular meaning is that of freedom, as some people released from prison have chosen this bird tattoo as a sign of their entrance back into society. Yet another interpretation is for an everlasting love and loyalty, related to the fact that swallows mate for life.

Swallow Tattoos – Learn About Early Swallow Art and Culture

When it came to the artistic depictions of swallow tattoos, it is interesting to note that for centuries humans bestowed upon these birds a symbolism of both good luck as well as bad. Therefore, by learning the origins of swallow art history, you can rest assured that the exact symbolic meaning you wish to convey is indeed the one that gets tattooed. Here are some examples of swallow art depictions from various cultures:

  • In ancient times, prior to swallow tattoos gaining prominence, the birds themselves were associated with the all-powerful gods, as well as the souls of the dead. For instance, according to Greek and Roman mythology, deities were able to change their form into a swallow. On the other hand, grieving mothers considered the bird to be sacred, as it was thought to carry the soul of their deceased children. Consequently, killing a swallow was deemed unlucky.
  • Similarly, an ancient Egyptian artwork depicts a swallow as it enters the underworld, however, Egyptian poetry made a departure to a more positive tone, describing the swallow as bringing the first sign of a new love.
  • The expression “one swallow does not make a summer” is derived from a fable by Aesop and is intended as an advice for being cautious and deliberative.
  • During the yearly pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, the swallow was considered to be the symbol of faith and steadiness.
  • In classical Chinese paintings, the swallow represented happiness and the arrival of spring, and was often depicted as part of the flowering peach branch. Additional portrayals show the bird as: daring, risk-seeking, and a symbol of change for good in the future.
  • Despite a mostly favorable characterization of swallows as representing lifelong partnership, in Japan, swallows symbolized unfaithfulness and were described in legends as flying through the house while carrying tidings of displeasure and bad luck from the gods.

All in all, the meaning conveyed by swallow art is that of a region-specific symbolism, which you may wish to further consider for your own swallow tattoos.

Swallow Tattoos – Get to Know the Species

There are literally thousands of bird species, so what makes the swallow a popular bird to ink? Notably, to make sure you get the right tattoo, it is useful to know that the swallow is sometimes mistaken for the bluebird. The eastern Bluebird and the Barn Swallow have similar coloring, with bright accents of orange and blue, converging on both yellow and red. Therefore, you and your tattoo artist should know the right colors and patterns needed to ink an accurate and attractive swallow tattoo. Additionally, the sheer fact that the swallow bird species makes its appearance most prominently during spring can be applied to swallow tattoos as a representation of fertility, hope, and happiness.

These are the main reasons for getting this particular body art, as it seems each new generation and culture finds its own symbolic meaning of the time-honored, simple yet beautiful, swallow tattoos.



Scissor Lift Designs and Their Functions

Engineering lifts have been quite conventional in the field of industrialization and manufacturing location to lift up work pieces, people and necessary equipments. To make it easy for you to understand, scissor lift is just a raised podium attached with wheels that acts like a forklift. The scissor lift can also come mightily handy in a non-industrial location where it injects more mobility, speed and people and things off the ground.

When the arms of the scissor lift are extended, it takes up the platform from the ground and can reach to a height anywhere between 21 to 62 feet and along with that the utmost load it can raise is close to 10000 pounds. The modern scissor lifts which are available now comes with outstanding features like rotate, movement in a straight line and incline. The incline characteristic of a scissor lift permits the worker to choose an angle of the raised podium and the rotating feature of the machine allows the platform to revolve. There are few scissor lifts that includes a platform which is free to move in a straight line.

Although there is a wide variety of scissor lifts available but most of these lifts include more or less indistinguishable mode of construction.

These can be further separated out in to two categories which is the manually driven and the automatically driven lifts where the self-driven lift moves upward and downward with the assistance of motors and the physically driven lifts just moves up and gets down manually.

Major types

The Hydraulic lifts – In case of Hydraulic lifts, a liquid is put into use to initiate the advancements of the lift. If you look at the mechanism, when the liquid is released, the subdivision of the lift stretches itself and slowly the lift will climb up. The amount of fluid which is needed to be released solely is dependent upon the height up to which the lift is fixed to be lifted and the mechanism is controlled with the help of a controlling device.

The Pneumatic lifts – This procedure of elevation makes use of air bags that forces the arms of the scissor lift to go up and down. Taking into consideration the supply of power, it can be separated further into gas driven lifts and electric driven lifts. But most importantly, the gas driven lifts are generally utilized in an outdoor execution of work whereas the electric lifts are more often than not used for the indoor operations.

Important mechanical factors

• The scissor lift includes outsized raised area or the platforms that can be expanded as well as stretched out up to some extra yards of space.
• The modern lifts are associated with the platforms with beveled ends which add up to the average platform size on each of its side.
• There are pit mounted components of scissor lifts which makes use of the electromechanical safeguards needed by the toe or the beveled edge raised area along with the lifting area which is required for setting up.
• The transportable lifts includes steel wheels at the side or even at the end attached with wheeled dolly.
• The turntables used by the scissor lifts are all of traditional dimensions and shape and available for the revolving lifts.
• The ball relocation platforms, conveyor split ends and other special fittings are also available to enhance the resourcefulness of the lift.
• Most modern lifts uses non-compulsory best materials like stainless diamond plate and steel skin.
• For the progressing burdened units the portable packages available involve two unchanged and the other two with revolve casters.

Few other significant features that influences the versatility

• The accordion skirts which stands as a protector which would safeguard the lifting arms and at the same time stop any sort of human intervention during the work in progress.
• The use of both the lower temperature as well as the non-combustible hydraulic fluid is a very good option to lessen the chances of catching fire in some of the scenarios.
• The platform of the scissor lift should be cleaned on a regular basis for hygienic.
• The modern scissor comes with a control valve which helps to regulate the flow of the liquid.
• The lifts also makes use of the fork pockets which eases the job of moving the lift on a fork truck.



How To Open A Clothing Store In Nigeria

You can open a clothing store in Nigeria and prosper in this highly fashion conscious market. Nigerians love wearing the latest fashions, and especially enjoy wearing American and European brands such as Tahari, Jones NY, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Kenneth Cole. The lower end of the clothing market in Nigeria is comprised of Chinese imported apparel, with the middle and high end segments comprised of imported brand name clothes. Opening a clothing store in Nigeria can seem complicated, but if one implements the following steps he or she can be operating in no time.

Step #1

Research the market and decide which market segment you are selling to. Once you decide who your ideal customer base is, you will know how much these customers can afford to spend, and which brands and styles they like purchasing. Once you have this information you want to contact wholesale clothing suppliers that carry the lines you want to stock your store with. The Internet is a perfect tool which can be used to get in touch with legitimate clothing suppliers. Nigerians enjoy wearing designer labels so your focus should be on brand name apparel vendors. Purchasing closeouts is also a savvy way to carry an inventory that will be more affordable to your customers, while still supplying them with the styles they wear.

Step #1

Selecting a name for your clothing store. Business names must be submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission. Submissions be can be done online or in person at their offices in Abuja or Lagos.

Assuming your business name is not being used, and it is accepted, you should receive confirmation within 48 hours.

Step #2

Your shop must be incorporated through the Federal Board of the Inland Revenue Service. You can have an attorney draw up and notarize the articles of incorporation, which will allow your business to be registered through the court and the tax office. Part of the reason why Nigeria has such a vibrant economy is because of government regulations, ensure that you are compliant with them by hiring a competent attorney.

Step #3

Select a location for your store. In order to select the optimal spot you need to first determine where your ideal customers shop. If you are selling corporate suits or dress shirts you want to be situated ideally in an urban location, near office buildings or government agencies. On the other hand, if you are selling casual wear such as sneakers or shorts, your store should be in a shopping mall or in a neighborhood setting.

When searching for a commercial location you should avail yourself of the services of a licensed commercial broker. Agencies such as Knight Frank Real Estate, Lagos Nigeria Real Estate Advisors, Tunde Co. Properties, and Shining Solutions are firms which can help you locate an appropriate place.

You can also conduct a free search through NigeriaPropertiesOnline.com, which is a large real estate database.

Step #4

Now that you have selected the perfect place for your store you need to address more practical concerns. You will want to purchase, or have someone make for you, racks and shelves for your merchandise. Decorate your store with exciting pictures that display models wearing the clothing that you have for sale.

You can take the pictures yourself, hire a professional photographer, or request pictures from your clothing suppliers. Make sure that the d├ęcor matches your intended customer base. For example, if your shoppers are middle aged bankers then you should use pictures of professional men and women in work situations. Start advertising once you are ready to ring up your fist sale. Hire a flyer distribution service, place ads in local newspapers, and market through online social media outlets such as Facebook.com



The Importance of Designer Leather Jackets

Do your outfits lack excitement? Does your routine consist of that same mundane look? If so, then it’s high time for you to change your entire image. For a woman in this day and age, it is imperative to keep up with the latest trends and be impeccably stylish. You simply cannot continue to function in society today with the same sluggish look. Hence, its time to change appearances and one way of doing that is through purchasing fabulous designer leather jackets. One would wonder, as to how this particular clothing item can instantly change an appearance. Well, simply because a designer jacket has become a fashion staple, a must for all the ladies.

Do your outfits lack excitement? Does your routine consist of that same mundane look? If so, then it’s high time for you to change your entire image. For a woman in this day and age, it is imperative to keep up with the latest trends and be impeccably stylish. You simply cannot continue to function in society today with the same sluggish look. Hence, its time to change appearances and one way of doing that is through purchasing fabulous designer leather jackets. One would wonder, as to how this particular clothing item can instantly change an appearance. Well, simply because a designer jacket has become a fashion staple, a must for all the ladies.

Even though ladies designer leather jackets have only been a recent development in the fashion industry, they are regarded as tremendous attires for any possible occasion. Whether at work, or at a casual evening party, they are an outerwear that seems appropriate and also cannot go unnoticed. Most women have a tendency to change their minds frequently when it comes to the clothes they wear. One outfit might be perfect for a particular day, but might be less appealing the day after. However it is safe to say that designer leather jackets can never be unattractive to a woman. They are worn all year round, and for a woman they are perfect for every day of the week. There can not be a woman out there who wouldn’t consider investing in a designer jacket. They are an excellent example of exclusive outerwear.

A handful of female celebrities have also been spotted quite a few times wearing such jackets. Ladies designer leather jackets therefore are not only popular with the common population, but are also well-liked among those famous personalities that we adore and admire. A prime example would be of Sarah Jessica Parker who was just recently spotted with her three children, taking a casual stroll. She was dressed elegantly, in one of those tasteful designer leather jackets. Moreover, her three year old twin daughters were also dressed in tiny leather coats. Similarly, famous fashion diva Victoria Beckham has also been spotted countless time on the streets of London pulling off a designer jacket. Coordinated with the best accessories, this woman certainly knows how to wear a classy leather jacket. So if these divas can be seen around town, looking fabulous then you surely can as well. There is certainly no harm in bringing that celebrity out of you.

As well as them being the latest fashion trend and every celebrity’s choice these days, designer leather jackets are also a practical attire to have. Leather has always been a material that one can rely on due to their durability. Likewise, it is sensible to own such jackets because they are the sort that will never let you down. They are timeless and if well looked after, they can last you a lifetime. A designer jacket can also come in handy when trying to accessorize your outfit with a versatile item. They can be worn with all sorts of attires, for example if you are going for a casual, chic look then it can be worn over a classy, petite dress. On the contrary if you are striving for a more professional look then they can be worn over formal pants and blouses. Whatever the case ladies designer leather jackets are an outstanding investment.

For that reason, it is evident that there are so many reasons for a woman to spend money on a designer jacket. With so many different styles to choose from now, one can really be spoilt for choice. So give your wardrobe a makeover, make your everyday appearances exciting by investing in designer leather jackets.



Fashion Design As a Career – The Truth That No One Told You

So you’ve decided that you want a career in fashion, and maybe you’re even about to enter the real world with your portfolio full of stunning fashion illustrations and a head full of hopes. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that glamorous perception of the design industry is a myth, and that vision of yourself as a famous fashion designer with your own clothing line is almost close to impossible to reach. The actual chances of that are probably the same as becoming a movie star. It doesn’t mean that you won’t become a successful fashion designer working for a company- it means that your chances of becoming the type of designer you envision yourself as are quite slim. Not only do you have to compete with the already established professional fashion designers, but nowadays throw pop singers, celebrities, and TV stars into the mix. There is a better chance that you’ll end up working for an established designer collection or as a designer for the next big celebrity’s clothing line.

If this sounds like old news to you, then congratulations – you’re a step ahead of the game because you already know what you’re getting into. If what I just said comes as a total surprise, take a moment to let reality sink in – and then keep reading. In either case, we want to give you the info you need to know to prepare yourself for some of the challenges that lie ahead…

In school most of your time was spent learning fashion illustration, draping, sewing, and patternmaking. While these are certainly good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to sketch flats, create garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards.

Knowing popular computer applications for creating flats and CADs is extremely important. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel. Many companies also request knowledge of WebPDM. Many fashion school grads believe they know these programs well. But schools don’t teach computerized flats or the software used to create them well enough for entry-level designers to be competent within the industry.

Whether you’re applying to different fashion schools, already in school, about to graduate, or already have your first job in the industry, it’s important to have an idea of where you ultimately want to end up. You might think that as a fashion designer; you’ll have the opportunity to work with all types of clothing, but you should be aware that there are different categories and specializations within the fashion industry. Have you thought about which fashion market you want to end up in? What specialization? Developing a plan of action will increase your chances of reaching your goals.

When creating their first fashion portfolios, many design students and entry-level fashion designers make the mistake of filling them with all of their favorite fashion illustrations. But companies don’t need to see tons of imaginative avant-garde sketches – they just don’t sell! Following an organized portfolio format is a better approach to get your ideas across and show off all of your talents and skills, while demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of what companies expect from you.

You’ll also need to create a well organized, intelligent resume to get yourself through the door. If you don’t look good on paper, recruiters won’t give you a second glance. Not only do your skills and qualifications have to impress, but you need to make sure they stand out amongst the hundreds, or thousands of other applicants for the same position.

Employers know that entry-level candidates will require a lot of training to fill in those education gaps. However, they do look for a candidate that won’t be difficult to train, or take up too much training time. Someone who learns quickly and is willing to go the extra mile is a worthwhile candidate for the employer to hire. Express your interest in the company, and your flexibility and eagerness to learn and develop within the field. To really impress, make sure your have researched the market and are familiar with common industry terms so you won’t get caught off guard when they are mentioned in the interview.

Despite what I said earlier, I’m sure there are still some of you who are determined to become your own designer; create your own label, design your own fashion line, runway show and all. We commend your ambitiousness and of course, we are here to help! With our advice and observations, we want to provide you with our suggested approach to make it happen. Educating yourself, knowing the business, designing for a cause you love, and promoting yourself through new avenues are all steps towards becoming the designer you’ve always envisioned!

Keep in mind that the above issues are topics that deserve serious individual attention. In our upcoming articles, we’ll discuss each topic further, giving you insider tips and insight so you can sidestep the pitfalls of the industry, giving you that much-needed competitive edge and increasing your chances of getting where you want to go within the industry. Basically, we want to prepare you as much as possible, so take it from designers who have been in your shoes, and soak it up!



Home Interior Design Tips For Cloakrooms

Often regarded as a dull little room, a cloakroom should instead be a room to treasure. Sadly neglected by many home owners, cloakrooms all too frequently become a dumping ground for broken bicycles, discarded footwear and malfunctioning deck chairs. If treated with a little (but not too much) respect, your cloakroom will serve as a useful convenience for your guests while allowing you privacy in your own bathroom (where your wrinkle cream, old school face   cloth  and worn-out toothbrushes remain for ever a secret!).

Requiring minimal space (an area as small as lxl.5m will accommodate the essentials), a cloakroom can be sited practically anywhere so long as suitable provisions can be made for the plumbing and, if it adjoins a living room or kitchen, there is a lobby between the two. A space on the floor below an existing bathroom will in many cases minimize disruption.

What does the good cloakroom contain? Essential, of course, are the WC pan and cistern. From a decorative point of view, a built-in cistern is neater and also provides a shelf on which accessories can be displayed. Should your cistern not be built in, you can still install a removable shelf supported on brackets over it. If space is limited, you will need to fit either an extra-small hand basin or one that will fit across a corner position.

In a larger cloakroom it is a good idea to select a more generous basin with a swing mixer-tap arrangement – so useful for filling a bucket, watering can or kettle. The basin can also be set into a vanity unit to give it a less utilitarian appearance and to secure extra storage below. If space allows, the inclusion of a shower unit may help to relieve pressure on a main bathroom.

In addition to these basics you will need a well-lit mirror (preferably full-length), toilet paper holder, towel rail and wall hooks for coats. Heating a room that is used for such short periods may seem wasteful, but is essential for the comfort of those visiting the room and can easily be combined with a heated towel rail. Grooming aids such as a nail brush, perfumes, hair brush and comb set, paper tissues and a clothes brush are thoughtful additions, as are magazines for the amusement of visitors.

Because your cloakroom is likely to occupy only a small area, you have a wonderful opportunity to consider more exotic finishes that might be thought of as extravagant or overpowering in a larger space. And, as the time spent in this room is likely to be brief, you can afford to make a much stronger decorating statement than might be considered prudent in, say, a family bathroom.

It’s the optimum room for cracking a visual joke to a captive audience – where else can you display your achievements (your ‘Oscar’, degree, war medals, parachute jump certificate or peace prize) without seeming immodest? Give some thought to the following ideas:

  • If there are many pipes exposed, how about making a feature out of them by painting them rainbow colors?
  • What about covering your walls with sheets of newspaper containing amusing headlines?
  • If your cloakroom has a dull view from the window (or indeed no window at all), why not use the opportunity to create you own scenes with a touch of trompe I’oeil7
  • Consider leaving the walls fairly plain and using your cloakroom as a trophy room, museum or art gallery.

Whatever your style selection, be careful not to combine too many ideas in this small space or the room will lose impact.



Traditional Tattoo Design Information

Traditional designs are using heavy black outlines with minimal color and a lot of black shades. So, they are usually darker in appearance and the color choice is limited to simple colors such as average blue, green, red and yellow. Colors are used in blocks with very few details. Also, they are being styled in such a standard way that everything they portray appears as a two-dimensional shape, without any three-dimensional depth.

Traditional designs usually lack a lot of complicity since they were done years ago with less advanced equipment and the tattoos were made fast at lower prices. Many traditional tattoo designs are portraying military and nautical motives and themes, as navy and army men were the primary tattoo clients. This traditional style preserved its popularity throughout the years, thanks to its historical significance, clearly readable simplicity and traditional American roots.

In order to make real traditional designs, tattoo artists have to work with a set of rules which will make their tattoos really traditional. These rules mostly apply on certain motives and themes and how these could be colored or drawn. For their basis traditional artists are using the work of respected and well known pioneers of this style, such as Sailor Jerry Collins, Don Ed Hardy and Lyle Tuttle. That is why a large number of traditional designs are being taken directly or interpreted from the sheets of tattoo designs prepared for mass replication, widely known as “flash”.

Those collectors who would like to get a real and fully “traditional” custom tattoo should be aware of the strict guidelines these tattoo designs imply. It is therefore wise that you choose a tattoo artist that is familiar with these guidelines and can give you the traditional tattoo with a twist of yourself or the artist. If they do not pay heed about this aspect of traditional tattoo designs, a person may end up with a “knock off” or “untrue” traditional tattoo, which will be discerned by all the people knowledgeable in the art of tattooing. Of course, this may not be important to you at all.

One of the newer aspects of traditional tattoo designs is the neo-traditional design, a design that has become more popular in the past few years. The neo-traditional tattoo is made by combining the rules of the traditional tattoos and some modern techniques and tools. This usually results in an original yet advanced tattoo. To give an example, a tattoo performed in a neo-traditional style, may still have simplified shapes and fat black outlines and characteristic for the traditional practice, while also introducing much broader color palette and some unusual, modern theme or motive. The neo-traditional tattoo designs are great for those people that like the traditional designs but would like something more original.