Stand-Alone versus Fitted Wardrobes

Given the current times when there is so many selections of wardrobe styles, where would you begin? Honestly, the issue we as buyers face is not in the lack of choice but rather an abundance. Especially when there is the Internet – There are even online wardrobe retailers now! And if somehow you can’t find pre-made wardrobes to suit your needs, guess what?

You can get custom-built wardrobes. But right now in this post, I’m not focusing on custom wardrobes or online suppliers. I want to hone in on comparing between buying stand-alone and fitted wardrobes. This is a common decision that people need to make.

The way to approach this is to think logically and methodically. Firstly, ask yourself, “What is the purpose of a wardrobe, any kind of wardrobe?”. Think for a minute. Got the answer? Storage space of course. You want some place to put your clothing items for easy and frequent access. So this should be your first criteria on choosing between the two styles.

If the room in which you intend to keep your wardrobe does not already have any storage or if you wish to completely replace your current form of storage, then fitted wardrobes is likely to be a good way to go. However, if you have a smaller wardrobe or closet of some sort at the moment that you want to keep using, and you just want to add to that collection, then a stand-alone wardrobe would be preferable.

Now that we have functionality covered, there is another practical consideration. The room in which you want to put your wardrobe. There are two main factors – the space available for the wardrobe and the layout (or shape) of your room. If you live in a small apartment and your bedroom is proportionately small then it may not be suitable to install a fitted wardrobe. In such an instance, stand-alone is better.

The amount of space you need to allow for your wardrobe should also factor in accessibility. Sure, you you manage to just fit your ideal wardrobe in the room, but then you realize you can’t get to it or move around it! Also, if you choose to have a hinged door as supposed to a sliding door, this open-close swing space needs to be factored into the space available for the wardrobe.

As for the layout of your room, I’m not just talking about along the width and length of your room. I’m also referring to the height. If the ceiling is design with a slant or the walls are oddly shaped (e.g. concaves, etc) then this will affect the style of wardrobe you can have.

After all that, you finally need to always keep in mind the cost of getting the wardrobe. Even if you identify the perfect wardrobe, if it’s going to cost an arm and a leg, pushing your budget, then think very carefully. Are you going to fully utilize the wardrobe space or is it just for looks? Being more practical especially in these tough economic times make more sense than trying to beat the Jones.

Taking Care Of And Cleaning Your Kitchen Rugs

A topic which probably gets almost no coverage, even on the web. But kitchen rugs get a particular type of wear and having had to clean mine recently I thought it would be worthwhile writing an article providing some, in my opinion, reasonably sensible advice.

After searching and shopping around, you finally provided your kitchen with those pretty rooster rugs you always wanted. Now the question on your mind is, after spending all that cash, how do I ensure these rugs give me my money’s worth? Here are several easy ways to care for your kitchen rugs.

  1. Try and purchase washable kitchen rugs which you can easily wash in case it gets dirty and starts to become an eyesore. Remember to use warm water for your rugs, as it gets the job done better than cold water. Different rugs require different water temperatures during the wash for optimum endurance. Use a slightly higher temperature for lighter colored rugs.
  2. Do not use a harsh detergent when washing kitchen rugs, as it might result in a colorful mess. And do not try to wash a kitchen rug that isn’t suitable for machine wash in the washing machine. It will destroy the rug. Always wash rugs separately from your laundry.
  3. When drying a kitchen rug after a wash, always tumble dry at a low setting to avoid the rug from fraying. If the material of the kitchen rug is quite delicate, it is preferable to air dry it in the sun (or indoors if that is not possible).
  4. It is unavoidable that occasionally our daily activity in the kitchen ends up leaving stains on the kitchen rugs we lay on the floor, especially during food preparation. Well that rooster rug isn’t going to clean itself properly with just a normal cycle in the washing machine 3 weeks after you spilled mustard on it. Always treat stains immediately after they occur so that they do not set. Use a stain remover or if you don’t have one baking soda or dish washing detergent works too. Remember to blot the area and not rub it in as this will make the stain set faster.

Everyone wants to take care of their belongings, especially decorative items, properly. With the simple tips above, your kitchen rugs could last for years, giving you a bang for your buck.

I found a useful video on the matter here which may also provide some good advice.

Cat Climbing Trees are Perfect for Indoor Cats

When we got our first cats we hit upon the idea of providing them with their own climbing area. I had ideas of making climbing areas and perches and runs all over the place. Of course in practice it was not so easy, my woodworking skills were not up to much and this was in the days before cat trees really became popular. I was really trying to give our cats a chance to sit somewhere high up. They simply love to sit and look down across their mini-Kingdom. Nowadays there are many different options for buying cat trees and I would recommend that you check them all out before making a decision.

cat-tree-2I was really trying to give our cats a chance to sit somewhere high up. They simply love to sit and look down across their mini-Kingdom. Many cat trees can be adjusted to provide exactly the right height and if they had been around back then I would almost certainly have bought one. It is tall, can be used effectively in rooms up to 9 foot tall, although that is with an extension as the normal use is for rooms up to 8 foot.

There are many different cat trees available for sale at great prices on Amazon and are definitely worth checking out, especially if you are unsure if you cat will like climbing a cat tree and don’t want to waste nearly $100 finding out.

Good Points about Cat Trees

As I said, cats love to sit somewhere high up and this cat tree provides them with a great place to do exactly that. We have seen a number of great options especially cheaply at Amazon.

Thing to Remember About Cat Trees

Remember, if you are paying around $40 for a cat tree it is not going to last forever, and this cat tree is no exception. Although it is suitable for most cats, it’s height does make it potentially feel quite unstable if you are concerned about this then it would be well worth securing it to a wall with a simple bracket.

Overall you can get some fantastic options for cat trees. Many have multiple levels and incorporate cubby holes and perches and play areas. You should be able to get one at any price point as the manufacturers have priced at the entry level for cat trees.

Following our experience with our cat we would recommend a cat tree. They may well be just what your cat is looking for.

The Appearance And Practicality Of Garden Lighting

When you use garden lighting to brighten up your home it adds a whole new dimension to your home as well as your lifestyle. No longer do we have to confine our activities in the yard to the period between dawn to dusk. Garden lighting can lengthen our useful time spent in the yard, but this should not be the only reason to add outdoor garden lights. The effects that garden lighting has on the practicality and appearance of our yards, can create usability and ambiance like no other.

Appearance

Adding outdoor lighting to your home is best achieved by taking the time to create a plan that best suits your yard and enhances its features. Introducing suitable light is more effective than just adding large amounts of it. For many in the industry this is a precise science, and proper installation makes and enormous difference.

garden-lighting-2

If your yard is large enough to wander around in, specific walks and discrete areas can be lit to create different moods and effects, which may entice the casual observer to further follow the past or draw their eyes to once secluded area of your yard. Proper garden lighting can dramatize the most exciting aspects of your yard and shadow the areas you choose to hide. You can even use garden lights to create illusions throughout your yard. One way is to combine lighting with a water feature in your yard, thus creating a mystical feel as the light beams dance across your garden.

Practicality

There are practical considerations as well, such as installing outdoor lighting for security reasons which results in an effective way to discourage intruders. Or using lighting to enable the ease of navigation along paths in your yard as darkness descends.

An effective and simple way to achieve this is by installing solar garden lights along your walkways. But garden lighting on a whole is a artistic expression of your yard, and it is best to think of it as an opportunity to let your imaginations run wild. A good lighting design can transform the nightlife of your yard, enabling practical use without compromising its beauty and mystery.

Whether your intentions are to enhance the appearance or the practicality of your yard, you will find that investing in outdoor lighting is money well spent. There are many companies that sell lighting solutions online and offer free shipping as well as reviews to help you in the decision making process. So brighten up your home and unleash the artistic landscape that is resident in your yard by installing garden lighting today!

How Air Conditioner Work

We all love air conditioners

We beat the heat in summer and warm up the cold in winter. Air conditioners make it possible for us to live comfortably. Air conditioner is an essential part of our lifestyle. Home, apartments, offices, malls, commercial centers, cars, buses and planes – all have air conditioning system.

But how do they work?

Air conditioner is an indispensable magical machine. They are available in various sizes, capacities and prices. People living in apartments have window or split air conditioners. Multi stories and commercial complexes have centralized air conditioning system. In spite of its variety, the basic working principle is the same. It sucks the hot air, cools it and blows back. It is fascinating to know how the air conditioners work.

Air conditioners do not lower the temperature by pumping cool air. Warm air from your room is sucked, cycled back in as cool air. The thermostat fixed inside the machine controls the air temperature. It is a basically a refrigeration system using evaporation of refrigerant to give cooling. Air conditioner heart is its compressor. The compressor applies pressure to the cool gas.

This has the counter-intuitive effect of making it becomes hot. The high pressure hot gas is pushed through a set of wire coils. These coils absorb the heat in the gas and the gas is cooled and condensed into a liquid. The liquid passes through an expansion valve. In the process, the liquid then evaporates but loses heat further becoming a very cold and now low pressured gas.

This newly cooled gas now passes through another set of wire coils and absorbs heat which in turn cools down the air inside the room. The refrigerant gas is mixed with a small quantity of light weight oil to lubricate the compressor.

airconditionerAir conditioners clean, cool and remove moisture from the air. If you have an air conditioner with heat and cooling system, in winter it will clear and heat and add moisture to the air.

Air conditioners with dual system throughout the year clean and control the temperature and moisture. In some air conditioners filters clean the air and machines have air washers through which the air is blown for cleaning. Electrostatic filers or electrostatic precipitation is also used in some air conditioners.

Big buildings, commercial complex such as malls, the air conditioners will heat the air by blowing it over coils which filled with steam or hot water. Electric heaters to warm the air are also used. Warm air holds moisture and cold air reduces moisture level. In a room an air conditioner circulates air at a rate of 15 to 40 cubic feet per minute.

Your air conditioners work in a closed loop arrangement, filled with required quantity of refrigerant to cool the air. This is the system how your air conditioners work to give you cooling effect.

Air conditioners have two sides – one is high pressure side and the other is low pressure side. The compressor, the condenser and the inlet of the expansion valve comprise the high pressure side.

The evaporator, the suction of the compressor and the outlet of the expansion valve forms the lower pressure side. There are different types of components in the air conditioner system.

Higher efficient air conditioners will have more components. The components mentioned are by and large are required for the machine to work and this is how the air conditioner work.

Of course sometimes you don’t just want to cool a room or a building down, but heat it up. This often presents a very different set of problems. If you are interested in know a bit more about that topic then click here.

Interior Color Schemes

Interior Color Schemes for Your Home

Every possible color has significance in the field of interior design. It is a common perception that white is the absence of color and black equates to nothingness, but in interior spaces, they individually create strong statements and when combined, produce a distinguishable striking contrast.

The primary colors red, blue and yellow used in residential, institutional, commercial and hospitality buildings are suggestive of what you want to convey in terms of the functional aesthetics and ambiance of the structure. In residential spaces such as bungalow houses, apartments, villas, lofts and condos, designating the appropriate interior color schemes is both a general and a personal choice.

You have to determine what colors are suitable for each room. The living and dining room are places to spend most of the daytime. They are also areas for entertaining guests and can have an element of warmth as well as awe, so the colors suited for these activities are lively and uplifting ones such as reds, oranges and yellows.

Juxtaposition of these colors in the walls and furniture pieces can perk up the ambiance of a room and exude warmth and vibrancy. A single bold color can be merged with neutral tones and come out as a dominant accent. A Barcelona chair in carmine red upholstery can stick out in a room full of white and beige walls and furniture pieces.

For the bedrooms and bathrooms, subtle colors like blue, green and gray, which evoke a feeling of peace and restfulness are wise choices. A monochromatic color scheme that has one color of varying shades can work well with your bedroom or in a bathroom that has a smaller area than the other rooms. It not only presents one harmonious atmosphere but also makes the space appear larger.

Yearning for a bedroom with orange walls can be your childhood whim so to accommodate this desire, you can negotiate for one portion of the wall to be painted a lighter shade of orange and make use of warm lighting to compensate for the intense color of the wall.

Greens can also lessen the strong visual effect hence the addition of tall plants in high vases and free-standing potted plants in the area. Paints are flexible and can be changed easily but wallpapers can be expensive to alter so be sure about your color and pattern choices. Explore your options and try new color combinations; you might discover unique color palettes that you respond to better than the general options that are presented to you.

Create your own swatch board with fabrics and paint colors for each room. It will help you decide which color goes where and determine what direction to follow for the design of your interiors. Think of long-term personal and financial benefits when you decide on the colors for your home. It is a guarantee that you will be able to save money, time and effort if you plan your course of action first before embarking on a decorating spree.

Colors for Schools and Hospitals

Interior color schemes for institutional and health facilities like schools and hospitals are chosen with quite a different approach from residential spaces. Schools have traditionally employed white for their indoor spaces like classrooms and laboratories. However, psychological research has introduced the idea of colors as effective elements that induce brain activities, thus school building exteriors and interiors have been modified accordingly.

Classrooms have been allowed to have blues and reds to be part of their color schemes however they are limited only to columns or portions of the walls and their shades not are as intense as what you might expect in restaurants and hotels. A neutral color palette can be applied liberally in classrooms because of their natural appeal which coincides with the outdoor school lawns and gardens.

When it comes to these educational institutions, colors also play a vital role in their identification. One school can use red to depict strength and excellence in academic pursuits and another can choose blue to represent valor and competitiveness in sports. It is school spirit at play here and what better way to remind students about this than to infuse their school colors in their buildings where they can be a visible presence.

color-in-interior-designModern and newly constructed hospitals have similar facilities with high-end hotels in addition to their specific functional areas such as suites, consultation rooms, laboratories, operating rooms, curing and recovery rooms, and special treatment areas. Their lobbies have been built in such an open and communal way so that patients, medical doctors and specialists can go about their business in an efficient and cheerful manner.

They are large open spaces within an innovative and well-designed complex with plenty of lounge areas so patients and guests can wait and mingle in a comfortable and stress-free environment. Greens of different shades and hues dominate the interior areas with warm oranges and subdued yellows to eliminate the preconceived notion that the color green depicts the tension and pressure experienced inside a health facility.

It was suppose to be a soothing color but people’s psyche evolves through time, design elements must be updated as well. These interior colors are evenly distributed on walls and applied in materials such as in wood stains, furniture fabrics and textured glass. The silver tint of the metal columns and partitions modernize its interior look.

sourcebook-of-modern-furnitureTreatment rooms and laboratories remain in white with dark blue and viridian green accents on the pillars and walls but the colors of consultation rooms have to be altered to garner an emotion of security and intimacy between doctors and patients. Blue is a cool color that can calm the nerves a bit. Earth tones are also appropriate to create a warm and inviting setting.

The hospital suites are the most flexible areas to apply different color schemes on. The contemporary ones resemble hotels with well-designed sleeping and waiting areas. In the more well planned hospitals, each suite has a unique look with different color combinations that patients can choose from.

Commercial and Interiors’ Take on Color

Color schemes for hotel interiors will greatly depend on the reputation and target market of the hotel. There are some hotels that are identifiable for their distinct exterior color. The color of the façade can be entirely different from that of the interior, but some conservative hotel owners insist on one cohesive look for the interior and exterior design, thus a similar color is applied with subtle variations.

The hotel lobby is the perfect place to exhibit well-thought out designs with exemplary color selections. The reception area should be enticing with harmonious design elements such as a backlit counter with playful colors. The back wall can be adorned with cove lighting and spotlights if there are art works displayed. The colors of the individual rooms and suites will complement the theme that is assigned to them.

If the theme is Mediterranean then blue can be a dominant color neutralized by sand and beige for an authentic look. Tropical themes for hotel rooms are also in fashion in hotel interior design. Bright and neon greens for the duvets and upholstered sofas and chairs can be used with natural browns of mahogany and oak woods in wall treatments and furniture pieces made of wood.

A modern minimalist theme naturally requires glossy and straightforward colors like gray, white and black. A hint of red or purple in their contemporary furniture pieces will make the room look funky and interesting. There are countless themes for hotel suites so the colors are likewise unlimited.

color-wheelRestaurants and other food establishments depend on color to attract people to check out their special and delectable cuisines. Red and yellow are the popularly used colors for fast-food chains. They are loud colors that entice people to indulge in their cravings which in the case of restaurants are foods and beverages.

Yellow is a cheerful color that perks up people’s moods and induces them to engage in lively social activities like sharing meals and hanging out. It promotes feelings of togetherness and joy. Red is also a strong color that heightens your senses which includes your taste buds. That’s why colorful foods are not just considered mouthwatering but also visually stimulating. In the interiors of fast-food chains, the main area to apply striking colors to is in the counter/cashier.

It is what people will see when they enter the restaurant and this is the area where they will line up to order food. They must not be bored with the view so the colors should be distributed on the walls, columns and dividing panels.

Even the tables and chairs contribute to the appealing look of the restaurant. In high-end restaurants the colors take on a more complex role. Sometimes a particular color represents the restaurant. If purple happens to be the trademark color of that restaurant, it can be applied to the painted or padded walls.

The upholstery of the banquet seats and the dining chairs can match them. The people will focus more on the food and the interior should be a contributing factor to the exquisite dining experience of the patrons.

Colors affect the working environment of office interiors. They can help bring a spark of enthusiasm to the employees thus making them productive in their daily work assignments. Subtle shades of red and silver can be applied to the reception area. They will welcome the employees in the morning and help them start the day right.

For the main room, any solid color will do as long as they are not high in intensity to distract the concentration of the people, and at the same time are not too subdued to induce drowsiness or boredom. White is a safe choice because it resembles a blank space or canvas for people to formulate their ideas on.

You can break the monotony by adding browns or greens. This direction can also be applied to the conference room because it is a place to convene and share your ideas. For the pantry or break room, however white can be too bland, a cool blue can be a relaxing alternative. For the individual offices, might as well utilize neutral tones with blue and green accents. Blue and green are cool colors that can help relieve stress especially for the high-ranking employers who have hectic and full-packed work days.

Aromatherapy Diffuser Choices

Maybe you practice yoga, believe in casting out malevolent spirits from a room or your home and attracting the beneficent ones. Maybe you have trouble sleeping at night or are fond of making your home smell like a bunch of your favorite fragrant flowers. In other words, you employ aromatherapy for its olfactory allure, health benefits, or both. Well, did you know that now there are more ways of letting the aroma of essential oils spread in your room than just leaving it in the direction of a fan? Depending on the aromatherapy diffuser used, you can achieve different desired effects with them according to what the situation demands.

fanfuserThe fanfuser is an easy-to-use and efficient diffuser.

It is very quiet, with a small fan blowing air through a pad that contains your essential oils, whether they be fluid or viscous.

It is a popular diffuser, no heat used, and perfect for small spaces and even safe for public places such as nursing homes or shops.

nebulizing diffuserThe nebulizing diffuser is another popular one. It pumps air through a glass chamber in which you pour your essential oils. Many aromatherapists prefer it for its effectiveness in diffusing the essential oils, converting them into microscopic droplets which stay in the air for a long time, making the oils more easily assimilated by the lungs. Twenty to thirty minutes use of this aromatherapy diffuser several times a day will be enough to provide the therapeutic benefits of the oils used in it. Its downsides, however, are that thick oils are not recommended to be used with it since they may clog the glass chamber, and that it is not ideal to be used in public places because of the danger of glass breakage.

tea candle diffuserThe tea candle diffuser is for the more old-fashioned person, or for one who prefers earthier home accents such as ceramic. It is simply a vase-like reservoir with a hole or holes on the side enough for you to be able to place a candle inside.

The hollow at the top is where you pour your essential oils which will diffuse into the air with the help of the heat from the lit candle underneath.

This diffuser is perfect not just to achieve the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy but also for home decoration.

car diffuserHow about a car diffuser for when you’re traveling to and from work or for long drives? You just need to add a few drops of essential oils into its pad, plug it into the cigarette lighter, and enjoy.

Try an aromatherapy inhaler which can fit easily in your purse or pocket and can be refilled with whatever essential oil you need such as when you need stress relief or you have a headache. Or an even more ingenious way of bringing your diffuser with you is an aromatherapy pendant!

Perfect for the ladies, it is basically a small vial that contains your favorite mix of essential oils, decorative, of course, so you will not be ashamed of wearing it over your favorite ensemble to work. However you want it and wherever, you have an aromatherapy diffuser to fit your needs perfectly.

Cafe Curtains for the Kitchen

Cafe curtains are great for adding privacy to a kitchen. These kitchen curtains span across the lower half of the window leaving a gap above the curtain allowing in plenty of light. Plus you can look out without anyone looking in. They add privacy without blocking the view or the light too much.

As cafe curtains are informal in style, they are particularly suitable for kitchens, in fact it is unlikely that they will be suitable for other rooms in your home. These curtains originated in the cafes of Europe, where they allowed patrons to drink their coffee and enjoy the street scene without being viewed from outside. Because of their origins, they are often called French cafe curtains.

For the heading on cafe style curtains, you can use a simple casement heading through which you slot a rod, which must be positioned at the the right height above the window sill or lower edge. You could also use tab tops or simple tie tops for a heading.

As for fabrics for kitchen cafe curtains, you can use anything from very sheer voile or organza to very heavy cotton or linen. Sheer cafe curtains are best with gathered casement or tie top headings whereas the heavier fabrics are better for tab tops.

If you would like to decorate the top of your windows, you can do so with a window valance and often cafe window curtains and matching valances (so-called kitchen curtain tiers) are sold in a set. These tiered curtains are mainly suitable for family kitchens and those with a country look rather than ultra modern kitchens. You will find many examples of lace cafe curtains and valances which you would not dream of putting next to gleaming stainless steel and shiny cabinets. If you have a contemporary kitchen go for a tab top cafe curtain either in a plain fabric or one with a striped or plaid design.

Here are some great examples of cafe and tier kitchen curtains. Of course, there is not space to show many examples so if you do not see anything to your liking take a look at the huge selection of discount cafe curtains for sale.

cafe curtain 1aBeautifuly embroidered white cafe curtain with eyelet detail. Can be easily slotted onto a rod across the window. 100% easy care polyester.

 

 

 

 

 

cafe curtain 3Bone colored (off white) kitchen curtains with yellow and white embroidered daisies, button centers and green embroidered leaves. Matching valance available. 100% polyester, machine washable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

cafe curtain 4These attractive green cafe curtains have matching valances with gathered headings and green gingham trim. 70% Polyester/ 30% Cotton

 

 

 

 

 

cafe curtains 5Striking sunflower design on this cafe style kitchen curtain set. Matching valance and swags included to complete the tier. 70% cotton, 30% polyester. Easy Care.

 

 

 

 

 

cafe curtains 6Priscilla 24″ Kitchen Curtains with standard rod pocket. Matching valance available separately. Machine washable 100% easy care polyester.

An Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding Part 1

A couple of years ago I was over in England and I happened to visit the city of Bristol in the West of England. It seemed to me an interesting place full of a rich history of engineering brilliance (Isambard Kingdom Brunel built a high up suspension bridge in Clifton, a part of Bristol, the train station which is now called Bristol Temple Meads and the first steam ship SS Great Britain which is moored in the docks; but it also has something of a darker history related to the slave trade. Many of the larger and more impressive buildings in the city were built by merchants who got rich on the proceeds of slaving.

However, although hopefully providing something of a backdrop to the city I really wanted to talk about learning to paddleboard. I remember taking early morning walks in the docks, which is really lovely on a clear day and seeing enthusiastic paddle boarders paddling their way past the SS Great Britain.

bristol paddleboarding

It looked a very peaceful and tranquil activity. Anyway, the image stuck in my head and recently I had a chance to try out paddle boarding for myself. I thought I’d use this post to let you know how I got on and what SUP choices were available.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding – Harder Than It Looks

I’m not ashamed to say, that it turns out that paddle boarding is a lot harder than it looks. It’s also physically much more demanding than I expected, in fact by the end I was practically exhausted, from the exertion required, something I simply hadn’t expected.

Introduction to the “Gear”

First, let’s take off the main pieces of equipment that are involved in paddle boarding.

A stand-up paddle board.

Obviously. The particular board that you choose really depends upon your level of experience, your weight and size, your skill and the purpose to which you expect to put your board. In the example above, the paddleboard is that I witnessed in the docks in Bristol did not appear to have a difficult time of the conditions. The water was very calm and the effort required to paddle seemed to be slight. In contrast course if you intend to surf on your paddle board, then I would expect a different type of board to be required altogether. I was just paddling on a lake, similar to the docks I mentioned in Bristol. So I had an inflatable standup paddleboard chosen for me by my instructor.

A paddle.

The panels are approximately the same height as you, although perhaps a little bit taller. They are angled in order to generate the optimal efficiency. The strange thing is that the panel is held in the opposite way to which you expect when you first start. I found this really difficult to get my head around, and it was one of the early snags I encountered.

A leash.

These sometimes come with the actual stand-up paddle board itself, but more commonly they are sold as separate items. In short ensures that you are tethered to your SUP. This is in case that you fall off it and for some reason or another find it difficult to return to the board. By being leashed to your ankle it will always be in the close vicinity. There are different types of leashes required for different conditions and you should make sure that you have the correct one before going out.

Other Items

There are a number of other items of equipment that you might take along with you on your paddle boarding adventure, however they tend to revolve around ensuring that you have warm clothing, a drink, perhaps something to eat, and something to protect you from overexposure to the sun.

There is much more to be said what the best stand-up paddle board might be, but there is obviously insufficient room in this article and you be best following the link provided.

In the second part of my article, to be published shortly by intend to look at how to stand sensibly on your board and how to approach the basics of paddling stroke itself. Stay tuned.

 

Choose the Best Workboots

The process of design is an iterative one. It is rare that the best designs are the product manufacturers first attempt. The process is usually one of starting with an original idea, testing it, noting any deficiencies in the design, and then improving upon those deficiencies to improve the whole product. I love seeing examples of really good design utilized in everyday products from both in the home and at work. Take for instance something as mundane as the everyday work boot. Now, this is about as far from being a high-tech product as you can possibly get, in fact you could say that it’s about as low-tech an item as you can get. However if you were to track the design developments of modern work boot over say the last 100 years you would see a remarkable transformation.

The Safety Toe

The original work boot used to have toes with a steel protector. However, this is an expensive material and difficult to work with. As a result the steel toe has gradually been replaced with a variety of alternatives made from predominantly specialized plastic. This new type of safety toe has a number of advantages over the steel toe protector. Perhaps the first and most important one is that modern day engineering techniques in respect of plastics has made the plastics significantly stronger than the steel alternative. As a result it provides significantly greater protection to the workman’s foot. In addition to this most plastics are significantly lighter than the metal alternatives and as a result the boot is more comfortable to wear for long periods of time and easier to get around in. Finally, although perhaps a relatively minor point, plastic does not conduct electricity whereas steel does, again making the plastic alternative still safer.

Improved Comfort

The modern work boot is a great deal more comfortable than the boots of old. Manufacturers quite quickly worked out that greater comfort for the wearer meant improved levels of productivity. Significant effort has been expended on making the boot as comfortable as possible to wear for a significant amount of time. Most modern workboots are extremely comfortable to wear these days, at least as good as a comfortable pair of regular shoes.

Best-Work-Boots

Insulation

It is perhaps stating the obvious, but most work boots are worn in tough outdoor working environments. As a result they need to be both hard wearing, warm and perhaps most important of all, waterproof. However, not all boots need all these three things at the same time. For instance someone working on an oil rig in the desert doesn’t want heavily insulated boots that make his feet uncomfortably hot within a very few minutes of arriving at work, such a worker would much rather have tough, comfortable, lightweight and relatively cool footwear. Alternatively, someone working on a building site on a winter’s day would clearly require a warm and comfortable and waterproof boot.

Fortunately, as a result of the vast improvement in shoe manufacture, there is almost always a boot available for a specific working environment. No longer is it a one size fits all work boot world.

Quality of the Soles

One of the most important features other work boot is its longevity. In very simple terms this means that the soul of the boot must be able to withstand the hard knocks of the working environment for a very long time before it wears out. Over the years, the greater the effort has been put into ensuring that the sole of the shoe is very hard-working without making it uncomfortable on the sole of the foot.

This has been made possible by the introduction of different structures by which the sole of the shoe is made. As a result of these improvements, where the older boot might wear out despite being perfectly usable in all other aspects, the modern work boot can literally last for years and years.

Additional Safety Enhancements

Finally, it is worth noting, that the modern work boot has not just taken each of the various components of the traditional work boot and made them significantly better, there have been a number of additional safety features incorporated into the shoe to ensure that it is not just your toes that are given protection. These additional safety features include souls that are puncture resistant, additional grip in order to prevent slipping from wet floors and even the ability to dissipate static electricity in order to prevent damage, or even conduction, from stray electrical buildup.

In conclusion, it should be obvious that the iterative design process, when applied to even everyday working boots, can yield significant enhancements not just the look of the boot, but to its practical use in an everyday working environment. If the worker is safe and comfortable in his working environment is likely to be far more productive, and for this reason if no other, the modern work boot is doing its job, due to the quite numerous design improvements.