Wood Chess Sets – A Touch of Class

Early chess master Siegbert Tarrasch once said, “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy”. Why not add to your game-playing enjoyment by incorporating the natural beauty of a wood chess set.

Wood chess sets are classic in the chess playing world because of their association with the Staunton style of design. But wood chess sets have also pushed and continue to push the boundaries of their visual stereotype due to avid and inventive chess artisans with advancing CNC technology, also known as robotic manufacturing methods.

Before you go out and purchase a wood chess set, understand that a wood chess set’s style isn’t the only feature worth considering in your purchase. Natural wood materials lend an innate touch of class to wood chess sets and can really emphasize chess set design. So the inquiring buyer should be aware of what materials are available in the manufacture of wood chess sets. This wide variety of timber contains species such as:

Mahogany – Particular strains of mahogany such as Khaya grandifoliola are popular choices in constructing wood chess sets. This particular wood chess set-friendly variety grows mostly on the West Coast of Africa. The color of mahogany’s heartwood can range from a pink to a dark cocoa brown.

Maple – Sugar Maple is a popular material used to manufacture wood chess sets. Wood chess sets using this species of maple have a faint red coloration that can also be interpreted as pink. Sugar Maple is readily accessible in North America as its found in New England, southeastern Manitoba, Nova Scotia, North Carolina and eastern Kansas.

Walnut – European Walnut, also known as Juglans regia, came to Western Europe via the Romans and Asia Minor. European walnut is a market rarity as it is not in high supply and can only be found in the processed form of veneer. Wood chess sets made with European Walnut tend to have a grayish-brown hue with a darker irregular grain. European walnut is durable and polishes well. Walnut, great for staining and enduring UV exposure makes a logical choice for use in the manufacture of wood chess sets.

Sheesham (Indian Rosewood) – Otherwise known as Palisander. Dalbergia latifolia grows in such places as the Indian peninsula. Sheesham can also be found near the Himalayan Mountains in Orissa, Sikkim, Bihar and Oudah. Chess sets usually incorporate Indian Rosewood as a veneer as it isn’t shaped easily by hand. Sheesham comes in hues from rose to dark brown.

Erable – Also called European Field Maple, this timber calls Europe home. Erable can be found in Europe’s old growth forests, but it is more commonly harvested from human-regulated forests in places like Spain. Erable carves easily and wood chess sets made with erable have a soft golden coloring and strong inset grain that comes to life with a lacquered finish.

Aspen – Aspen is a popular material used in North American wood chess sets. The Populus tremula strain of aspen or Trembling Aspen is found in an area that includes Virginia, Newfoundland and Alaska. Trembling Aspen is also found in the Rocky Mountains, southern Arizona and northern New Mexico. Aspen is colored from a light white to soft beige and adds a beautiful accent to wood chess sets.

Many of the aforementioned materials can be found in wood chess sets sold by online distributors. Many online retailers have a wide selection to choose from. Find one that provides a trusted and reliable online service with numerous quality materials and design choices.

Contemporary Sideboards – how to choose your perfect sideboard

A buyer’s guide: contemporary sideboards

When you start to decorate your contemporary home, you realise after choosing wallpaper, paints and fabrics that you also need contemporary storage solutions to keep clutter to a minimum. Few pieces are more versatile than a sideboard. Sideboards not only provide practical storage and hide a multitude of sins, but they also make a contemporary design statement that can make a striking addition to a room.

Sideboards are pieces of furniture with compartments for storing plates, glasses and household items, usually containing drawers and cupboards and sometimes shelves for display. Some sideboards also have internal lighting. With clean lines, new looks and bolder design statements, contemporary sideboards have broad, modern appeal.

Contemporary sideboards are a must in a dining room or lounge/diner for storing a dinner service, silverware, cutlery, napkins and condiments. Some have drop-down doors that serve as a work surface for holding dishes or as a bar for preparing drinks. The sideboard top is useful for holding extra plates and bottles of wine while dining with guests, especially when the table surface is full. With the addition of glass doors, contemporary sideboards also provide an opportunity to display elegant pieces, crystal and objets d’art.

In the living room, contemporary sideboards are ideal for storing drinks, toys, books and all kinds of media. The sideboard top is perfect for displaying photographs and family heirlooms. Complement the design by choosing contemporary picture frames. Sideboards are set beautifully by a pair of elegant table lamps.

The hall can often be overlooked but remember it is the first impression your guests will have of your contemporary home. As well as adding design impact, sideboards will keep telephone directories, books, hats and gloves, keys and clutter out of sight.

In a home office or study, sideboards will hold stationery, office supplies and electronics and provide a work surface for printers and filing trays. Choose sideboards with lockable doors to keep valuables or confidential information safe.

Upstairs, sideboards can make a welcome addition to a bedroom or landing for storing blankets and bedding and even to the bathroom where towels, bathmats and toiletries can be neatly folded away.

Start shopping and you’ll soon discover the vast range of sideboards that are available. But how do you choose which ones are right for you? Here are some points to consider:


First, decide which rooms would benefit from the addition of sideboards. Consider upstairs as well as downstairs. Once you decide how many you need, be practical and measure the space they will fit in. Measure the height, width and depth. Shop armed with the facts!


Next, choose the appropriate sized sideboards for their uses – sideboards are available with two, three, four and even five or six doors. The smallest sideboards are great for a child’s bedroom, under the stairs or in a tight space on a landing. The largest make a dramatic addition to a contemporary dining room. Low sideboards make a contemporary design statement but are also practical for homes with low or slanted ceilings.


Do you need sideboards with display, others without? Open shelving or glass doors? Sideboards with glass doors often have optional illuminated display shelving. Glass doors at low levels won’t be practical where children will be playing, by doorways where you may be carrying bags in and out or in high-traffic areas such as in a hall or busy office. Where space is at a minimum or where opening doors on hinges would prove tricky such as in tight corners or under stairs, sideboards with sliding doors provide the perfect solution. Consider also the option of pull-down or lockable doors. Doors in contrasting materials and decorative handles maximize design impact.


Sideboards with drawers are often useful in the breakfast or dining room for storing cutlery, placemats and napkins. Also consider sideboards with drawers for a home office or study for organizing stationery and office supplies. Sideboards with no drawers and large compartments are ideal for holding taller items such as bottles and vases or bulky bedding and chunky knits. Large storage compartments with internal shelving are ideal for toys and media such as books, CDs, DVDs and games.


When it comes to design, it’s a matter of personal taste. Contemporary sideboards can make a bold design statement or complement the furniture you already have. If in doubt, go with neutral colours or natural materials. When deciding on materials, consider where the sideboard will be, how often it will be used, what it will store and therefore how durable it needs to be.

Solid wood furniture is a smart investment. Even with wear, solid wood gains character and charm and becomes a part of your family. Solid wood sideboards are crafted with attention to detail that includes dovetailed joints, wood on wood drawer glides and strong protective finishes. Consider oak, teak or walnut.

A cheaper alternative to solid wood, wood veneers are constructed of thin slices of real wood adhered to the sideboard surface to give it the appearance of real wood. Veneers can be laid over less costly and lighter materials to save production and shipping costs, or added to a very expensive piece to showcase a particularly beautiful grain pattern.

For the braver of heart, there‘s a wealth of contemporary materials to choose from such as polished chrome, stainless steel, clear, frosted and coloured glass and high-gloss lacquer in bold colours or monochrome black and white.

Your personal style is reflected in your interior choices and a contemporary home benefits from statement pieces. Quality materials and workmanship will always be evident in sideboards crafted as a result of high-end contemporary design. Sideboards are often available with matching contemporary living, dining or bedroom furniture such as dressers, coffee, lamp or dining tables or chests of drawers. So you can build on your furniture collection piece by piece. Think of interior shopping as an investment, in your home and in your future.

Architecture and Architects Jobs

Architecture is the science or art of building construction and design, which makes use of long lasting materials to produce buildings or structures that are aesthetically pleasing and well suited for a particular purpose. A quote from English poet Sir Henry Wooten states that “Well building hath three conditions: Commodite, Firmenes and Delight”.

Over history, the architecture followed a long sequence of distinguishable styles, these can be identified by words such as Baroque, Gothic, Neo-Classical. Architecture may also be of a homogenous style such as Ancient Greek, Roman or Egyptian.

Architectural style, whether it is found in factories, country houses, hotels, airports or religious buildings, reflects the needs and the values of the society that has produced it. The style of structures is not only ruled by tastes and conventions, but by another range of correlative pragmatic considerations.

These are mainly the availability of technology and of materials for construction, as well as engineering considerations such as load bearing and stresses that must be taken into account during the design, all of which will make sure that the finished structure will fulfill its intended purpose.

Through the ages, the availability of local materials has had distinct influence on the design of buildings and structures throughout the World. The availability of local materials is also closely linked to development of the skills required to work them. Carpentry for example, developed where local surroundings that were densely forested as the wood became an important building material. Despite becoming a scarce resource, timber still remains widely used in construction projects of the present day. In other parts of the World, early architects chose readily available stone and marble to create buildings and monuments adorned with sculptures that were integral load bearing parts of the building structure. Today the use of stone an marble continues although its use has declined in favor of more readily available materials such as steel, glass and concrete which are also much more economical to produce and assemble.

In some regions even timber was scarce, this forced the local inhabitants to fashion buildings from the Earth itself. Mud and clay was, and still is, used by compacting it into bricks. After being left to try in the sun, these bricks are used in local construction and held together with mortar made from the same material. Older civilizations used kilns to further harden the bricks which makes them far stronger and more durable enabling larger structures to be built. So early cultures used naturally occurring substances from their local environment and then developed technologies to exploit the materials to their advantage.

Masonry is the term used to describe buildings made with stones or bricks. The bricks are built in bonded rows which adhere by an alternate layer of mortar compressed by gravity. Early mortars were comprised of sand or mud but the Romans developed cement mortars and concretes which they used to dramatic effect in buildings which are still in existence more that 2000 years after they were first constructed. Despite the Roman’s development of the first concrete, it was not until the 19th century until the a truly waterproof cement was developed.

Another development of the 19th century was production of iron and steel on an industrial scale. Mills turned out rolled sections that could replace traditional wooden frames with a much stronger material. Steel rods could also be placed in wet concrete which improved its versatility giving rise to the 20th century’s myriad of reinforced concrete structures. Subsequently, aluminium became widely available and was used in an anodized for to provide a cladding material used to cover the surface of buildings to provide a coating that was durable and virtually maintenance free. Glass became easier to produce in larger sizes and higher quality, stained glass appeared in many churches and religious buildings, its availability being enhanced enormously by industrial processing. This gave architects the ability to exploit natural light in a way that had never been possible before.

The expanse of building and construction being carried out in the modern age today shows the complexity of modern day Architects jobs, having to balance the creation of mass housing, shopping centres, large office buildings, town centres airports, supermarkets, hospitals schools and a whole host of other infrastructure required by today’s modern life.

Today Architects are not only concerned with the aesthetics of a new building they also need to focus on the needs of a diverse community of business and urban neighborhoods, developing new structures that fulfill the requirements of the modern world whilst interacting with existing buildings to create a pleasing aesthetic.

In the UK Architects jobs are restricted by Law, practicing Architects must be registered with the Architects registration board. Persons considering architects careers should know that it takes a minimum of seven years to obtain the necessary qualifications and experience. Those wishing to qualify must study at recognised universities. Candidates must completing a three year B.A or B.Sc degree. Afterwards the candidate must complete a least one years experience in a working architect’s practice. Candidates must then complete post graduate courses of two years followed by at least one more year of experince before being allowed to sit the professional practice and management examination.

Choosing a Modern Fireplace Design

A modern fireplace design can easily be achieved these days what with the various materials available in the market. Depending on the style you like, there are numerous design ideas that you can get from your local hardware store, magazines and the internet. But before doing anything else, though, be sure to consider the space you have in your home whether indoors or outdoors.

A fireplace can be an attractive accent to a living or family room and to a garden or patio. It can also, in fact, be a cheaper and eco-friendly form of heating for homeowners. When designed according to your liking, it can provide you and your family a comfortable and warm place to spend quality time together notably as the cold months begin.

Great ideas

Contemporary designs are definitely hot especially in modern homes. They further enhance the beauty of the interior being a vital focal point both visually and socially.

Modern designs normally feature clean straight lines, less detail and decoration. They may be considered simple but then they can still provide the comfort you desire if the main elements are complemented with comfort decors such as books, candles and throw pillows.

Modern fireplaces may use stones such as granite, tiles or terrazzo, reinforced concrete, wood and metal. Each of these materials can be used alone but a combination of two would also be great.

A wonderful idea in contemporary fireplace design is one that features a side rack where you can stack firewood. The rack can be enclosed or open depending on your preference.

Common types

Considered the most common type is a fireplace made from limestone. Limestone provides a neutral color thus it can blend well with any design.

Cast iron is another option if you wish to have a modern look. It can go well together with granite panel and hearth.

A micro grain marble mantel also looks stylish. This type is actually made from crushed marble that were bonded together to create a mantel. With its high gloss finish, you can be sure that its shine will last for a long time.

If you’d like one that will last for generations, the best is a fireplace suite made from natural stone. This type is very durable, resistant to scratches and stains and ideally suited for gas fires.

Helpful tips

In decorating your modern fireplace, design experts suggest to go for three. In other words, you can add art two pieces above the firebox such as paintings or sculptures because the fireplace is already considered one element. Candles also make attractive accents on the firebox.

Complement the fireplace with objects around the room as well. For instance, you can use reflective items such as metal, glass or crystal to create a cozier ambience. Carpets should not be forgotten as they not only accentuate the room but can even serve as a seat mat when you feel like going near the fire.

When it comes to size, it will depend on the space you have at home. While the traditional fireplaces are large, you have the flexibility today to create even just a smaller one for your family.

Fireplace Designs to Consider

The holidays are just round the corner, and you may be considering installing a new fireplace in your house. After all, a fireplace warms the whole place up, and creates a cozy feeling for the entire family. So perhaps it’s a good idea to consider some new designs for the fireplace.

There are many types of fireplace designs that you may choose from. For example, there are modern designs, contemporary designs (more classic looking), art designs, and many other custom designs. You can also choose to create your fireplace from different types of materials such as stone, brick, concrete, limestone, marble, granite, etc. Here are some important issues to keep in mind when choosing your fireplace designs.

Matches with the overall theme.

The design of your home is already there. So when considering the design for the fireplace, make sure that you choose something that doesn’t look too out of place. In other words, it should be a design that enhances the overall look and feel of the current theme instead of spoiling it. You can always get your contractor to show you a mock up drawing of what the final outcome would look like so that it’s easier to make a decision.

Size of the fireplace.

When you install a new fireplace, it is easy to get carried away and choose a fireplace that is too large for the house. This can happen when you are entranced by an intricate design with lots of details. Generally speaking, the more detailed the design of the fireplace, the larger it needs to be. This is the ensure that the details don’t get lost in a fireplace that’s too small. A fireplace that is too huge steals attention from other center pieces such as the sofa set or a large painting in the living room. What you want is a nice cozy corner. So choose an adequate size for your fireplace.

Types of materials.

This is a huge decision to make when installing a new fireplace with a new design. The type of stone you choose for your fireplace has a great impact on how the fireplace will turn out. Each and every type of material has its own unique characteristics. For example, marble has naturally beautiful patterns on its surface. This will enhance the look of the fireplace. Other materials may have natural grains or they may come with smooth or rough surfaces. The final decision depends very much on your personal taste as well.


Finally, you have to consider the price of the fireplace. The price is most affected by the type of materials you choose, the size, and the design. Marble tends to be more expensive. And if you choose a custom design that is elaborate and complicated, that may take more skills and time, which in turn leads to higher cost.

Ultimately, you want to choose designs that look nice and falls within your budget. Of course, you have to be comfortable with the designs as well.

Using Marco Maran’s Furniture

Contract furniture provides businesses and institutions quality designed pieces that are made to be durable, strong and long lasting. It is also necessary to find those furnishings that are modern and offer a style and pop that people will notice and appreciate. This is the kind of quality and design that is found when you are using Marco Maran’s Furniture.

He is the Italian designer celebrated for his ingenious and exuberant blend of modern styling and materials in unusual shapes and forms. It is easy to notice his creative touch and customers have come to quickly recognize the Marco Moran signature.

When you are looking for the right contract furniture to select for your company or business needs, you are faced with hundreds of popular choices and it can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You will want to make sure that whatever you select is made to hold up to heavy and frequent use by the public. It is also helpful for you to be able to know that the contract furniture is designed to meet pre-set industry standards. Contract furniture needs to have an extra strong design element and being able to select from pieces that are reinforced to give them extra strength.

Contract furniture needs to have portability and comfort harmoniously combined. You can find pieces that meet all of these criteria when you are using Marco Maran’s Furniture. He has created unique and well designed seating in many styles such as the Zip and Hoopla chairs. He is also the designing guru who has produced the Gigi stacking chair and the Gigi Barstool.

The Gigi stacking chair is made in two models, one with arms and one without. It offers a futuristic style with back support that makes it extremely comfortable. You can also find this Marco Maran design in an upholstered seat selection. The extra back support is able to flex and can adjust itself to any individual. The detailed styling and comfortable material makes it an excellent choice for lunchrooms, training classrooms and casual eating establishments. If you choose this contract chair for your needs you have a choice of 10 colors ranging from the more neutral shades to the more neon colored hues. If you need 500 chairs or more you can even arrange custom coloring of your choice that will blend in with your personal business décor.

Contract furniture achieves a startling and dazzling new life when designed by Marco Maran and this is evident in hisX3 line of counter and bar stools. He has used a new double injection system which gives a grid pattern to these see through plastic seating models.

These chairs offer a creative difference that can set your business apart from the competition and will be admired by your customers. The X3 design is very comfortable to sit in even for long periods of time as it is molded to offer support to the lower back and hips. The available colors include tangerine, smoke, sapphire and lime as well as several other uniquely different shades. Customers and employees alike will appreciate how light the entire chair is and the ease with which one can move them about.

Business owners are aware that contract furniture by Marco Maran is quite stylish and unique but they are also exceptionally safe in materials, design and overall concept. You can add extra safety for your customers when you choose the Body to Body Bar stools. Maran has been able to employ plastics and chrome to achieve an unusually stylish open bone design that is flame retardant and able to withstand outdoor exposure to rain and sun. The materials will last for years without fraying or fading. With these contract quality chairs nothing has been sacrificed in either style or structure.