Buying Guide: Type of Coffee Makers or Machines

coffee makersCoffee will always be there for us every morning to help us start our day. Today, no need to line up early to a coffee shop just to enjoy your favorite brewed or flavored coffee. You may now enjoy a barista-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home. Below are list of simple guidelines on what to look for in coffee makers or machines. Whether you opt for an espresso or latte, finding the best machine that will suit your taste can be very intimidating because there are lots of different types in the market today.

Espresso Machines

Traditional machines have been the most popular in the market for years, with their numerous options to choose from, to the most fussiest and particular coffee lover. More so, almost all espresso coffee makers follow the same procedure which is producing water pressure and letting it pass through a packed coffee tightly placed in as handle. This forced water pressure brings more out of the coffee granules ,  which makes the coffee stronger, fuller and richer in taste. Espresso coffee makers are perfect for those who wants to have a taste of barista- quality of hot coffee anytime they want. No need to queue in coffee shops, as they can enjoy it in the comfort of their home.

Benefits of using Espresso Machines

Be a barista overnight with your own espresso machine that lets you create your own barista-quality coffee, which means:

  • You may decide on how strong your coffee will be
  • Texturing and frothing your milk produces the perfect art of coffee making

Automatic Coffee Makers or Machines

The automatic coffee makers are the perfect in-home machines for us. Like the name implies, it does all the works in processing the whole coffee making, from brewing, grinding and even frothing the milk. Some of the automatic coffee machines have buttons for creating cappuccinos in an instant. These are perfect for those who want their different kinds of coffee in an instant. No hassle at all.
Most automatic coffee makers have the following functions:

  • Have descaler for cleaning
  • Have an option to change filters
  • Can refill water and emptying the bins of the coffee

Benefits of Automatic Coffee Machines

Perfect cappuccino anytime of the day with the press of a button means:

  • Have its pre-programmed levels for latte or cappuccino
  • A timer that you can set that automatically turn on
  • Perfect for entertaining and serving guests

Is Shabby Chic Furniture Right For You?

One of the biggest trends in fashion in the past few decades is to take vintage clothing and wear them. There is something “cool” about wearing old clothes that somebody else wore. There is something authentic or even rebellious about such a look. It is not a surprise that this look actually originated these thrift store look which actually originated with the punk rock movement of the late seventies and early eighties. Well, things actually got a little bit more extreme because with the shabby chic look, we are looking at jeans that have been purposely worn down. Clothing that had purposely been made to look old. This is quite different from punk rockers going to vintage stores because they do not have any money. In the eyes of purists shabby chic is really trying hard to be authentic when it is fake and commercial. Be that as it may, the shabby chic philosophy has extended into furniture. There is a trend in modern interior design to actually buy furniture that looks older than it is. In many cases these are completely brand new furniture but they use a surface or a texture that makes it a little bit look years older. Keep the following in mind when considering shabby chic. It may be right for you or it may be wrong for you depending on how you process these following factors.

Keep changing fashions in mind

The reality in furniture is that furniture is a product of fashion. While clothing fashion changes from year to year or even quarterly, furniture fashion changes much more gradually. Regardless, it still changes. Keep this in mind when considering shabby chic. It seems like everybody and his mother wants to get into shabby chic furniture tight now but fashions do change. You do not want to be the last neighbor hanging on to that shabby chic furniture look when everybody has quickly moved on to something bigger and better. Sometimes, in certain situations, if you want to truly future-proof your furniture selections, it is not a bad idea to go with classical designs or classic modern designs.

The essence of shabby chic

The essence of shabby chic is that you are comfortable with who you are and you are so authentic that you do not care what other people think about your look. This is the essence of the punk philosophy without the authenticity. This is the commercialization of the punk philosophy without basically going through the rough challenge of being an outsider. The corner stone of the shabby chic philosophy is that you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want to be perceived as an outsider and as a rebel while at the same time you want to get along with everybody else. That is precisely what shabby chic brings to the table. This is why it is not uncommon to see two thousand dollar pair of jeans with holes intentionally torn through them. To Some people this does not make any sense.

How easy it is to screw up shabby chic

Reality is that shabby chic since it does have an element that highlights authenticity, it is very easy to screw up. If you are going to place a piece of shabby chic furniture, let us say a sofa, you have to make sure that it goes well with your other furniture pieces. In fact, just adding one small detail might make the whole arrangement look contrived or artificial. This is exactly the opposite of the effect that you are trying to achieve with the shabby chic look.

 

How To Buy Used Furniture The Right Way

If you are decorating an interior space, you’re probably excited. You are looking forward to a new look. You are looking forward to a new beginning. This is all well and good. The problem is, you know that this is not going to be cheap. You know that at the very least, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time and some money. The more time you spend, the more money you spend. Seriously, why?

Time is money. You could be spending that time doing other things that could put money in your pocket. You have to always factor in opportunity costs when you’re doing things in your life. And one of them, is of course, interior decoration. You have to always focus on your cost. This is why a lot of people try to buy used furniture. In fact, so many people are so focused on saving a few extra dollars that they automatically go for used furniture.

Thanks to the rise of the shabby, chic look in the United States, as well as the fact that the economy remains rather soft, more and more people are discovering the joys of buying used furniture. The problem is, this may be right for some people, but is not necessarily right for you. Read the following guide so you know how to buy used furniture the right way.

Don’t just focus on the price

This is the biggest trap with used furniture. People are looking for a table and they see a nice looking table with a low price. They zero in on the price and done deal. Later on, they come to regret that decision. You don’t want to put yourself in that position. You have to always focus on value. Don’t just focus on the price. You have to remember, price and value are not joined at the hip together. Just because something costs a lot of money, doesn’t mean it has a lot of value. On the other hand, just because something is cheap, pricewise, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cheap, quality-wise. You have to always focus on value.

Look for hidden damage

There’s a reason why many used furniture are for sale. In many cases, the owner doesn’t really want to sell them. But since they are damaged, or are not in a certain way, the owner just wants to get rid of that piece of furniture. It’s always a good idea when looking at the different pieces of used furniture to look for hidden damage. Feel free to look at the back of the unit. If it is a cabinet, open it and look at the inside panels. Look underneath it, if you can. Be very inquisitive. Be very curious. If anything, this is going to help you.

Why? If you find damage, you can negotiate for a much lower price. You’re already saving money on used furniture. You can save even more when you notice hidden damage. Keep in mind that you should only buy the used furniture if the damage is hidden and the damage doesn’t materially or substantially compromise the quality and usefulness of the item. Otherwise, all bets are off and you should walk away from that particular piece of furniture.

Make sure the item is absolutely clean

In many cases, people buy furniture and they end up bringing bugs, pests and other hassles into their home. Make sure that you give the piece of furniture a serious scrub down. At the very least, clean it or wipe it down. Make sure it’s absolutely clean before you bring it into your home. Many smart home owners would quarantine a piece of furniture first by covering it and leaving it in the garage. In that way, whatever bugs and other ‘passengers’ of the furniture would already have had a chance to escape, before bringing the piece of furniture into the room. You should clean the piece of used furniture very thoroughly, before bringing it into your household.

How To Save Money On Online Furniture Purchases

Back then, you can only buy books online. I know this might sound shocking. It may sound backwards, but that was the state of e-commerce, 18 years ago. Back then, there were serious logistical hurdles to selling bulky items online. Fast forward to today, and you can see stuff that weighs tons being sold online. Why? The shipping infrastructure of the United States, Canada and most other countries have kept up with the times. Now, you can buy iPhone colors and huge pieces of furniture and put them on the same virtual shopping cart and not think twice about it. You can rest assure that your order will get to you in one piece. That is how awesome e-commerce is nowadays.

If you are looking to buy furniture online, it’s not a slamdunk that you will save money. You have to remember, these websites still have to make money. That’s why, they use all sorts of retailing tricks to make a few extra bucks. While the oldest tricks, of course, is to mix expensive items with cheap items, the hope is that you would pick up a lot of cheap items and pick up a couple of expensive items.

Keep in mind the following tips so you can truly save money on furniture purchases by going online:

Look for free shipping deals

The Achilles heel of online commerce is shipping. For the longest time, this was the biggest hurdle to Amazon and other online retailers. If you don’t factor in shipping, you actually lose a lot of money. This was the case of many early online companies like eToys and DITE. In fact, DITE committed financial suicide. Why? They would absorb the cost of shipping. They might be selling a pack of dog food that costs 10 dollars but the shipping costs 30 dollars. A lot of these companies were really operating in the red.

That’s how crazy the internet market was back in the day. Thankfully, we are all passed that. The shipping infrastructure has caught up with the demands of e-commerce and free shipping deals are quite common. Be on the look-out for free shipping deals. This can really dramatically lower the price of furniture that you buy online.

Compare online prices

The good news about online retailing is that, there are many players. Amazon may be the 800 pound gorilla of online commerce, but Amazon has many competitors. This benefits you. The more competitors on the market, the more to choose from. The more to choose from, the higher the likelihood that you will find lower prices and get the same quality and get the same service. Be on the lookout for the best prices by comparing the online prices of many different furniture stores.

Click digital coupons

There are many online retailers that offer discounts using digital coupons. When you are ready to check out, you will see ‘use coupon’. The good news is, it is very easy to find digital coupons. All you need to do is enter the keyword of the item that you want to buy, along with the name of the item that you are looking for, and the phrase ‘coupon code’. Chances are, you will find a nice discount coupon online. You enter that into the retailer’s coupon code section, and if it’s a valid coupon code, you can have up to 30% or more taken off your purchase price.

How To Select A Chair For Your Master Bedroom

Usually, when people think about decorating their master bedroom they think about the mattress that would go into the room. However, there are other pieces that go into a master bedroom. If you have a fairly large bedroom, you should look into getting a small table and maybe a couple of chairs. This can actually make your master bedroom even more cozy. Why? Instead of having to sit on your bed to read a book or a newspaper, you can relax at your small table sitting on your comfortable chair while reading your paper and enjoying a hot cup of coffee. A chair and table set for your master bedroom truly expands the things that you can do would greatly enhance the level of enjoyment of your master bedroom. If you are in the market for a chair for your master bedroom, keep the following factors in mind. It is too easy to select a chair as an after thought, after a while you will come to regret your decision because you made a quick and unprepared choice. Keep the following considerations in mind so you can make the right choice.

Size

Size is a very important factor in picking a master bedroom chair. You might think that the kind of chair that you are looking for has a specific size, but you have to factor in the other pieces of furniture in the room like your mattress, your table and other pieces. Also, factor in the amount of space that you would need to get around the chair and the table. This can impact its final size.

Portability

Just like with any other room in your house, you would need a lot of portability for the furniture items that you select for those rooms. People change their minds all the time. Rooms’ occupants change all the time. That is just the one constant in terms of interior decoration, needs change. As a result, you should factor in a lot of portability for the specific chair that you are looking for to use in your master bedroom. At the very least, make sure that it is light enough so you can store it or move it around. While some people prefer heavy chairs, this might not make a lot of sense if you see a lot of motion and changes in your master bedroom in the future.

Design, color and look

Obviously, you need to pay attention to the design of the chair that you are considering for your master bedroom. At the very least, it should not clash with the rest of the decor that is already present in the room. Also, color impacts the overall mood of the room. You might think that the master bedroom chair is just a small detail, just a single element in what would otherwise be a large setting. You would be absolutely wrong. In fact, small details can have an outsized impact on the look and feel of the rest of the room. Finally, the overall look of the chair must complement the existing look of the room. It should not take away from it, it should contradict it, it should not be destructing.

Why Buying Secondhand Mattresses Is A Bad Idea

There are a lot of secondhand stores and flea market’s selling mattresses. Just because you see this home furnishing item on sale, doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pick one up. In fact, the disadvantages of buying a secondhand mattress easily out ways its advantages. Seriously. Here are just three of the main reasons people don’t normally buy secondhand mattresses. In certain situations and for certain people, buying secondhand mattresses make a lot of sense. For example: If you’re a college student or you’re a person that is just getting established and you’re moving from job-to-job or suited to city, buying a secondhand mattress may make a good sense. However, you need to keep the following factors in mind before you make your decision. There are serious disadvantages to buying secondhand mattresses.

Bugs

Whether we’re talking about scabies or bedbugs, secondhand mattresses can be the home for all sorts of bugs. The good news is that bedbugs are easy to see. The bad news is that there are a wide range of other bugs that dirty secondhand mattresses can attract. These mattresses run from mites and other very small bugs that can bite you. In the case of ticks, not only can they bite you, but they can be quite itchy and disgusting. If you’re buying a secondhand mattress, you don’t know the hygiene of the person that own that mattress. You don’t know the lifestyle and the overall cleanliness of that person. Also, that person might had pets with fleas and other bugs. So keep this in mind when thinking of buying secondhand mattresses. For many people, bug issue is the deal-killer.

Hidden Stains

When buying secondhand mattresses, it’s always a good idea, in fact it’s common sense to thoroughly scrutinize the mattress that you’re thinking of buying. You need to take a good look at the surface of the mattress cover. Look for stains. The problem with this is that there is such a thing as a hidden stain. There are certain liquids that stain inside after it has penetrated the surface of the mattress. Moreover, the person selling you the secondhand mattress is probably not dumb. They probably tried to wash or bleach the surface of the mattress. So here you are, looking at a mattress that is bright white outside and you think you are buying a very clean mattress. You would be absolutely wrong if there are hidden stains inside. Why are hidden stains bad? First and foremost, there might be certain fluids that might post a risk to your health like chemicals. Also, there might be disease issues and mold issues involve. Whenever mattresses get moisture, mold and other organisms can grow inside the mattress. This is bad news to your health and well-being down the road.

The Idea of Prior Use Can Be Creepy

There are many cases of people selling secondhand mattresses where the original owner of the mattress actually died. In many cases, the original owner of the mattress that you’re buying actually had a heart attack or died on that particular mattress. Of course, the seller is not going to tell you that. It’s always a good idea to think of any particular scenario why somebody is selling a perfectly good mattress.

How To Pick The Right Wall Color

When it comes to interior decoration a lot of people would think that it all boils down to picking the right furniture. Some would pay a lot of attention to the window dressing and other details. However, if you want your interior decoration efforts to really go well, you have to focus on picking the right wall color. In fact, on a square inch by a square inch basis, your choice of wall color has a more dramatic impact on the success of your interior decoration efforts than specific pieces of furniture or other details in the room. Why is this? Your wall color sets the right personality. It sets the right tone for a particular interior space. If you get this particular detail wrong, regardless of how well the other pieces in the room try to make the overall design work, things will still look a bit off. Things will still look awkward. If you want your room to look the best it is capable of looking, pick the right wall color. Keep the following factors in mind.

Check the color of the furniture pieces

You have to remember, every little piece that goes into a room does not stand on its own, it is always a part of a larger setting. Every little detail impacts all the other details. So if you want to pick the right wall color you have to look at the different colors of the furniture. They have to work together.

Which room?

Different rooms should have different colors. After all, different rooms have different personalities and different uses. At the very least, different rooms have different people staying in them. This is why it is very important to always factor in the kind of room it is, who will be staying in the room, in regards to your wall color decisions. This is no small matter. If you are going to be decorating a kid’s room, your wall color options are different than if a senior citizen is going to be staying at the room. I hope this much is clear.

How important is mood or personality?

It might strike some people as a little bit surprising why this question is even asked. For many people, mood and personality is very important in terms of interior design. They automatically assume that if you are going to be designing different rooms then each has to have different moods or personalities. While this is true at a certain level, this applies more dramatically to some rooms than others. If you have a lot of rooms in your home and only four of the eight rooms will be occupied by family members, then it is probably a good idea to set a general or standard mood for the other four rooms. For the rooms that are being occupied by family members, each would have their own distinct personality, each would have to have their own distinct mood. Make your wall color choices accordingly.

Picking the right wall color is no small detail, you should not overlook this important part of your interior decoration efforts. If you mess this up, it can have a dramatic effect on the look, personality and feel of the rest of the room.

 

Modern Furniture Manufacturing Versus Classic Manufacturing

Make no mistake about it, modern manufacturing has really helped American consumers. Modern furniture is much cheaper on a dollar-per-dollar basis than traditional furniture. This, of course, should not be a surprise since most furniture items sold in the United States are actually imported from either China or somewhere else. Besides the importation angle, there are also many other differences between classic manufacturing that you should keep in mind. Why bring up these issues now? Well, if you are on the market for furniture, you have to remember that manufacturing has really changed over the years. This can impact your choice of furniture item. If you are looking for furniture items that you are going to hang on to for many years to come, you might want to consider items that were manufactured using classical processes. However, if you see yourself moving from job to job and from city to city, you might want to consider mass manufactured modern furniture. By modern furniture I’m not talking about modern design but furniture items that were manufactured in a modern way. Keep the following considerations in mind, in terms of the differences between these two processes.

Standardization

Modern furniture manufacturing is all about standardization. All the pieces are the same size, quality, all pieces are basically interchangeable. This is great news if you are looking for a low priced piece of furniture. Nothing spikes the price of furniture higher than if you had it hand made. Anytime you are doing manual work on a piece or a part, you are increasing the price of the furniture that will be assembled from those parts. There is no such difficulty with modern mass manufacturing. All parts are standardized. This is good news if you are looking for a replacement part. The problem with this, of course, is that the quality tends to be on the lower end. The quality is still high from a modern perspective but from a classical craftsmanship perspective it is actually quite low.

Machine manufacturing

Most modern furniture is actually assembled by hand but the parts are manufactured by machines. These machines can crank out a huge number of parts in a very short period of time. This is why modern furniture items are so cheap. The parts are just cranked out by factories at a rate of thousands of pieces in one hour. At that rate, prices really crash down to earth. This is a good thing if you are looking to save a lot of money. This is a bad thing if you are looking for furniture items that are lovingly crafted and hand-held and shaped. If you are looking for works of art, you are not going to find it with a modern mass manufactured furniture.

Volume parts

As mentioned above, parts are cranked out by modern factories at a clip of thousands of units per hour. The big down side to this is that you are really dealing with parts that can stand-in for each other, there is really no crafting or custom workmanship with each part. As a result, the overall quality tends to be on the low end. Moreover, these items are not going to be collectors items, not in the same way as antiques. If you are looking for furniture items that can withstand the test of time and also can be passed on from one generation to another, you should look for items that were produced using classic manufacturing processes.