We have reserved this section for articles where we can develop topics more fully than in the tips section.


Making a Home
It will be rare for you to have the prefect proportions in each room to accommodate the recommended placement of furniture to obtain the optimal clearance.  Thus, you will have to apply the recommendations as best you can.  You may find that you can remove some pieces of furniture if you are expecting guests in order to have more room.  Or conversely, you may have to bunch the furniture up temporarily to accommodate the situation.  
  • Major traffic areas 4 feet to 6 feet
  • Minor traffic areas a 1.5 feet to 4 feet
  • Seating between sofa and coffee table 1.5 feet to 2.5 feet
  • Allow a minimum of 22 inches for chairs at a dining table
  • Allow a minimum of two feet for each person/chair
  • The dining table should be at least 3 feet from the wall
  • It is customary to allow 5.5 feet to serve at the table.  In other words if you are having a buffet and your guests bring their food in on a plate and sit down, then this additional space is not necessary.  The same applies if you are serving "family style".  This is the term used when the food is on the table and passed around.  In these two instances, you need only be concerned with the 22 inch clearance for the chair, the two feet for each person/chair.  However, if you expect your guests to be seated and served at their places, the 5.5 feet rule applies. 
  • Furniture with drawers require 3 feet from other furniture in order to open the drawers. 
  • There should be at least two feet between the side of a bed and the wall.  This will allow for getting in and out of the bed and also allows space to make the bed. 
  • Here is a tip about beds.  If you have canopy over the bed it will collect dust.  Place a flat bed sheet over the canopy in such a way to cover it entirely but does not show.  Then when you do your spring cleaning, simply remove the sheet "dust catcher", wash it and return it until the next deep cleaning.  You will find this particularly important if your canopy is not washable. Even if it is washable,  you don't want to have to remove and replace it. 
Designing Your Surroundings
It is tempting to duplicate a look you find in a magazine or perhaps in someone else's home.  Generally, this does not work out the way you would hope.  Pictures in magazines are very valuable to getting ideas and evaluating what looks appealing or what doesn't.  However, you must remember that a room must be comfortable to be used.  It is ideal if you use every room in your house or apartment.  We think we can "seal" off parts of our home and make them more formal for special occasions.  The question however, is, "Why?"  Unused space is expensive.  It must be maintained on a regular basis.  Plumbing must be used or the traps dry up.  Most central air/heat systems are designed to circulate the air.  If you interfere with that circulation by closing off a room or vents to a room, you won't be getting the maximum use of the system.  You may even find that the system doesn't work properly.
So, once again, the question, "Why?".  Are you saving it in hopes that your son or daughter will come home again.  Well, if they do, will that room suit them ever again?  We all want a guest room that is kept perfectly ready for unexpected guests.  This is generally a luxury that most modern homes can't afford.  Does the room become the "junk" room or "catch all"?  If you use the room regularly then the clutter won't stack up.  Make it into a casual "sitting room".  This could be a great idea if your home has the popular "great room" concept.  The cozy sitting room is a welcome spot for reading or listening to music.  Include a sofa that makes into a bed and you're set for guests.  Just a few modifications to the room and it becomes a lovely suite for travelers.  
If you are fortunate enough to have a guest room, or a room that you can use for guests, be sure and test it from time to time.  Make sure that it is comfortable and clean.  Be sure everything works.  Spend some time thinking about what you would want if you were staying there.  Is there a convenient place for luggage?  Is there a telephone, radio, TV paper and pencil by the phone for jotting down instructions or phone numbers?  Leave useful information such as the telephone number for that phone, the street address and proper spelling of the street name.  Are their power outlets for recharging cell phones and computers?  Consider leaving a power strip for you guests to recharge everything at once without having to remove the lamp. 
The next time you are in a hotel, look around to see what amenities you find useful.  Simple things like a shower cap or sewing kit can be very useful to your guests when they are passing through.  Assemble an album with brochures of local spots of interest and write a history of your city.  Include photos of you and your family at some the points of interest. 
Put out a few current magazines or a newspaper.  Your guests may retire to their room, but may not be ready to go to sleep.  Of one is waiting for the other spouse to finish in the bathroom.  Casual reading material would be very welcome.  As you know, sometimes when traveling you just can't unwind enough to get to sleep. You might have a deck of cards available too.  If you can find a CD player that has an alarm clock or speakers for an mp3 player, your guests will feel right at home.  
A lady's jewlery
Pearls are an essential element of a lady's jewlery.  We will go into additional detail about how to select pearls but the following describes the various traditional lengths.  The names can also apply to beads of any type.
Collar-This sits tightly against the throat. This look is often used for someone with a very long neck but is not as attractive for a short or thick neck.
Choker- This is slightly longer than the collar length and sits at the base of the neck. This is very graceful and attractive on almost everyone.  
Princess- This comes just below the collar bone.
Matenee-These fall just above the  breast and can be worn outside an open neck collar.
Opera- These are slightly longer and reach to the middle of the breast bone.
Rope- These can be any length longer than the Opera length and do not have a clasp. The beauty of this length is that it can be wrapped around numerous times to achieve the desired length with multiple strands. This is lovely both inside or outside a collar or on a collarless dress.
Pearl shortner-this is a clasp that can be used with strands of pearls to double them up or fasten several different strands together.