13 December 2017

How to Take Your Kitchen to the Next Level?

When it comes to interior styling, modern design trends are demonstrating an acceptance and use of technology. While technology continues to pop-up in almost every aspect of our lives, we’re seeing it become incorporated into even the most mundane and basic areas. With things like automated cabinets and blinds, charging stations, and wireless home assistances, a technological edge is what the modern home has. Despite all of this though, we are also noticing a shift. People are accepting the use of technology; however, they are also craving minimalism, classicism, and a simpler time. Especially in the kitchen, timeless spaces are coming back into style. When undertaking kitchen remodeling, here are some exciting industry trends we’ve noticed, and believe will take off in the coming year.


Pet Incorporated Features:
With our furry friends being a huge part of our lives, designers have taken note and are catering their plans towards pet owners. The things that we’re seeing take off are built-in dog houses. A carved-out space under a countertop that is a designated spot for your dog is a great way to keep your house looking organized and intentionally planned out, as well as giving your favourite bud a place all their own. If a full-out dog house isn’t feasible, others have opted for pet-friendly nooks. Little niches underneath your kitchen island is the perfect way for your animal to hang out with you while you’re cooking, but ensures they don’t get tangled in your feet. Lastly, a great way to keep your kitchen looking clean and uncluttered is with pull-out pet bowls. A pair of bowls can be pulled out from beneath the kitchen island or counters, in a drawer-like fashion. They can tidily be pushed back in for when they’re not in use.

Clever Storage:
With condos and homes becoming smaller than before, the need for cleverly placed storage ideas is growing. The biggest trend we’re seeing here are storage drawers. These can easily be pulled out when needed, and pushed back in for a concise and clean look. People are converting small closets into pantries, for a great way to store food items in an organized way. For spaces that are smaller, vertical storage is best. Using the height of the kitchen, creating thin but tall cabinetry that pulls out is easy. These “drawers” can be stashed in the space beside the fridge and counter, allowing jars and dry food items to be easily stored.


Open it Up:
A hot trend in kitchen remodeling is opening up cabinets, and replacing them with open shelves. This gives a country-kitchen look mixed in with a sleek aesthetic. Many designers are also choosing to utilize the ceiling – an often-overlooked area of the kitchen. In smaller spaces, adding colour, texture and detail to your kitchen ceiling draws the eye upwards, giving the illusion of more space. Another great way to open up the space is by rethinking your appliances and sink. Investing in high-quality, high-efficiency and sleek appliances not only give you a clean look, but they can be made to fit in with your existing colour and d├ęcor schemes, for a flawless finish. Large sinks with apron-fronts are becoming widely popular, both for convenience, and aesthetics.

Ensure Timeliness:
It can be difficult to want to stay current but also timeless. The truth is, trends are awesome, but most of us don’t update our kitchens every few years. When remodeling, we want to ensure our new kitchen will stand the test of time. The best way to do this is to steer clear of fads. Design website and experts will tell you which colours are hot and in for this year, but they don’t take longevity into account. If you’re looking for something to last you awhile, stick with reliable looks like granite countertops, muted backsplashes, hardwood floors, and a clean colour palette.

Rustic Modern:
The move towards rustic modern is becoming increasingly popular. Mixing heavily stained wood with contemporary accents adds a contrast in an appealing way. Black Walnut is a very popular wood grain choice, as it adds warmth, as well as texture to the room. Adding this in with classic black and white is a way to ensure your kitchen stays forever current and fresh. Mixing natural wood elements with steel appliances and gadgets gives a timeless, warm, and rustic modern look.


Copper Accents:
With natural and rich wood mixed with neutral colour tones, as mentioned above, homeowners are loving the addition of copper-coloured handles. This metallic pop adds a richer and more up-scale look compared with the usual stainless steel or black. Copper is not only eye-catching, but it simultaneously blends in well with wooden backgrounds.

Natural Wood:
With this shift for a simpler time, natural wood is making a huge comeback. Warm wood such as natural ash is a lovely way to bring nostalgia and the feelings of yesteryear into your kitchen. Paired with copper or black accents, the result is elegance with a rustic edge.

Care and Maintenance of Hardwood Floors

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Wood is a favorite flooring option among homeowners and interior designers. Aside from its classy and, at the same time, cozy feel, wood is cheaper than other materials and is environmentally friendly. Hardwood, especially, is prized in interior design for its hardiness and the elegant and stately look it gives to any room.

Hardwood floors are durable, and when they are maintained or cleaned regularly, they do not need to be replaced for a long time or at all. But of course, this is difficult to do sometimes. You may be too busy, but if you want your hardwood floors to keep that gloss and always look new, you have to set regular intervals for cleaning.

A dry cloth, brooms, hardwood floor mops, cleaners, and polishers are some of the usual tools for cleaning. But one shouldn’t use any of these materials haphazardly, though. All sorts of nasty stains can stick to your hardwood floor, but there are different ways of removing them. You should be careful to consider the type of stain before dumping just any kind of cleaning agent on the floor.

There are good cleaning practices and bad ones. You should be able to know what these bad practices are to avoid committing a heinous crime on your beautiful hardwood floor. This infographic will show you the best ways and tools to keep your hardwood floors pristine and polished. Schedules depending on the type of cleaning you need to do are also in the infographic.


Happy reading and happy cleaning!

12 December 2017

How To Ensure You Get the Most Space Out of Your New Loft Room

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An ideal home involves making use of the available space, whether it’s for storage or for comfort and relaxation. Unfortunately, as years go by, the living space may not be enough to give room for everything. Today, we are going to look into some tips to maximize the existing space in your loft room.

As homeowners, we may feel the need to improve our living space, so that we can enjoy that homey feel without having to spend too much. Building a loft is a practical way of creating more space, since it is cheaper than having to tear down a wall to create another room, or relocating to a bigger house.

How To Maximize the Space in Your Loft 

Here are some quick tips and techniques on how to convert a loft with ample space in mind:

Know the room dimensions
To check if the existing space is fit for the purpose that you intend, take the measurements of the loft into consideration. For starters, an ideal height of a loft should be at least 2.0 to 2.1 meters. Make sure that the furniture and fixtures will fit inside the loft.

Choose the appropriate furniture
If you intend to use the loft as a walk-in closet or vanity room, you may want to carefully select the right size of furniture so that it would not cramp up the space and leave you with no room to roam inside. If you choose to make it as a children’s bedroom, using a bunk bed instead of two separate single beds is more ideal.

If you want to turn the loft into your own personal meditation room, you don’t need to place a lot of things inside. A small table, vase (as an accent piece), candle, mat, and probably a comfortable chair where you can relax and read are already enough to keep the purpose intact.
In other words, keep the furniture to a bare minimum, and build up from there.

Decorate sparingly
If you have limited loft space, putting a plush carpet at the center can already make a huge difference. Of course, that would depend on how you wish to use the loft. The key in choosing the right decorations is to focus on function rather than form.

To give the illusion of a big room, paint your loft in white and add a few colorful accents to make the room come alive. You may also use bright, vibrant colors using pieces with contrasting colors.

Provide storage spaces
Increase storage space by using furniture with multiple drawers. This gives you the ability to stock things inside the loft, without making the room appear cluttered.

Some ingenious examples of furniture with storage spaces include a sofa with storage bins beneath the cushions, a coffee table with sleek drawers under it, and seemingly bare walls with pullout drawers.

You may also want to make use of the overhead space for storage. Some people install hooks and rails on the ceiling, so that they can hang and store home items without affecting the floor space.

Use multi-purpose home items
Another genius option in small spaces is to make use of home furniture designed to have multiple functions. Some examples include a sofa bed, and a cushioned cube that serves as either a coffee table or an extra seat.

Optimizing floor space in your loft requires a ton of effort at the start. However, when you’re able to pull it off, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and live more comfortably in a wider home space than you can imagine.

11 December 2017

5 Tips to setting up a coffee station in your kitchen


Coffee is one of the most refreshing drinks that one can pick. People love meeting over a cup of coffee as they discuss their personal matters or other business. How would you love to have a great coffee session at home with your family? This is possible if you can set up a coffee station in your kitchen so that you can be fixing cups of coffee in a short time. When you add a coffee station in your kitchen, you are simply setting up a mini coffee bar at your home! You will actually wonder how you have been going so long without it. To set up one of the best home coffee stations, you will need to find the best home espresso machine under 500 so that you can enjoy your coffee from the best coffee machines available.

Here are 5 tips that can help you to set up a suitable coffee station in your kitchen.

1. Find the best espresso machine

For you to make the best coffee at home, you will require a great machine for this role. This is where your coffee brewing prowess will emanate from. The perfect cup of coffee can be crafted with an espresso machine that is easy to use. As such, you need to find a machine that is affordable, easy to maintain and one that allows you to control each of the processes of making a great cup of coffee. You may want a machine that has luxury features such as cleaning systems that are automatic, cup warmers or even nifty LED lighting to make the coffee making process fun.

2. A special space for your coffee station

After you have bought the espresso machine, it is now time to find the most suitable spot in your kitchen to set up the coffee station. You can also use the essential coffee making accessories already in your kitchen for this role. Your kitchen counter, cabinet, side tables or carts would come in handy. If you want a better coffee station, you could still have this made for you. What really matters is that you have enough space and the right accessories to fix a quick cup of coffee when you need it.

3. Customize the coffee station

You can make your coffee station appear the way you want it. What you need is a convenient place where you can prepare coffee for your family and guests in the shortest time possible.  When you create a special cabinet to place all your coffee items, you are sure to have a well-organized kitchen and an exclusive coffee station that has all its accessories specially taken care of. It helps your kitchen to look less cluttered when you close the cabinet and secure the coffee station. To customize it, use a swing door or even opaque roller blinds. Have some kind of lighting fixed at the top of the nook to make it look appealing and special.

4. Additional items for your coffee station

To make your coffee station look more appealing and sort of professional, there are additional things that need to be included in it. You need sugar and coffee bowls. You can add some kind of unique artwork on your coffee station. Use a special vase of flowers and have a carrying tray and napkins so that you look chic as you serve your guests and family members.

5. Baskets and smaller containers to organize your coffee

Your coffee station can be organized by use of small baskets and small containers that are used to store the different types of coffee in your kitchen. You don't want a jumbled cabinet full of all sorts of coffee beans and coffee related stuff. Organize the various coffees in different containers and baskets so that you can access the right kind of coffee at the right time.

04 December 2017

The top 4 single serve coffee maker options in 2017

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It is the holiday season and finding the perfect gift can be quite a challenge. If you are searching for the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life, perhaps you should consider purchasing a single serve coffee maker. There are an abundance of coffee maker options on the market which can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. This article will highlight some of the top single serve coffee makers that are available in 2017. Homestratosphere is a great resource if you want to learn more about specific coffee makers as you can read reviews and learn about specific features.

  1. Full Tassimo T55. This machine works well, brews fast, and produces delicious coffee every time. Part of what makes this machine so great is that it does not require waiting time for the water to heat up. You will need to purchase T-discs to use with this coffee maker which may be problematic if you are a Starbucks drinker. 
  1. Nespresso VertuoLine. This coffee maker is one that provides class and style in its presence and brewing ability. This machine is quite large so it would fit best in a full size kitchen as opposed to a small apartment. If you are a coffee connoisseur, this machine is one to consider as it provides a great flavor and texture to your coffee after every brew. The downfall to this machine is that you have to purchase the coordinating Nespresso pods which can be a challenge to find. It is important to note that this machine brews small espresso-sized cups of coffee so if you want a normal sized cup of coffee, this machine may not be for you.
  1. Breville Gourmet. If you do not have the patience to wait for a cup of coffee to brew in the morning, this coffee maker is a great option for you as it brews very fast. Another great perk is that you can use K-cups in this system as well as reusable K-cup systems. Another great perk to this coffee maker is that it is very quiet. It is important to note that the water reservoir is not transparent so it can be a challenge to determine the amount of water that is available. Another important thing to note is that with this coffee maker, you will be shelling out a good deal of cash. It is not cheap however, you can count on having it for a long period of time as it is sturdy and durable.
  1. Keurig K10 Mini Plus Brewing System. Highlight as the best single serve coffee maker under $100, Keurig is well known for producing high quality machines and great tasting coffee. This machine is compact and can fit in small spaces. If you are looking to gift a coffee maker to someone who lives in an apartment or is a minimalist, this machine is a great one to consider. The cost is low which means that you could also throw in a box of your favorite K-cups. There are many to choose from whether you like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or cappuccino, there is something out there for everyone.

24 November 2017

Top Features to Include When Creating a Backyard Oasis

If the idea of a backyard oasis appeals to you, then consider yourself part of the majority. Most homeowners love being able to enjoy their yard, get some fresh air, entertain in the outdoors, and just feel relaxed and at ease. A backyard oasis makes all of this possible, but let’s face it, it takes a fair amount of work to achieve. If you’re looking around your yard that looks rather bland, bare, and without personality and you’re trying to achieve that oasis feel, then here are some features you may want to include.

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Water Feature

When you want to be able to get that oasis feel as quickly as possible, the best tip is to include some sort of water feature in your backyard. Water features are not only beautiful to look at, but the sounds they create are extremely relaxing and comforting. It can help to drown out neighbors, passing traffic, and just the everyday noise of life.

Popular water features include fountains, a small pond with fish in it, a fountain wall if you have the space, and even waterfalls built into a pond or fountain. Your water feature will depend on the space you have available, your budget, and just how big of an impact you want to create.

Garden Seating

In order for your backyard oasis to be enjoyed, you’re going to need to have inviting and comfortable seating. You can help to make it more comfortable by adding cushions and throws in relaxing hues and patterns.

Garden seating may be a small bench strategically placed next to the garden, or it could be a large dining table surrounded by chairs. It should be based on your needs and the space available.

Soft Lighting

As the experts at Architectural Landscape Design will tell you, part of creating that oasis atmosphere is adding special touches such as soft lighting. They can work with you to create a design that includes a variety of lighting options such as rope lighting, twinkle lighting, garden lights, pathway lights, and more.

Privacy Screens/Fencing

It’s rather difficult to create a backyard oasis if all of your neighbors are able to peer in and see you trying to relax. This is where privacy screens and fencing can come in very handy. Lattice work is probably the most common type of privacy screening as it still allows for airflow, and the sun to get through, but it gives you that sense of privacy.

Place the screening around any seating area you may have, as this is typically where you will spend the most amount of time. It’s also where you will entertain friends and family, so again that added privacy is nice to have.

The Oasis of Your Dreams

By using these tips, and seeking help from the experts, you’ll be able to create that oasis atmosphere that your backyard has been lacking. There’s a good chance that you will find you spend more time outdoors than indoors once your oasis is complete.

22 November 2017

7 Home Improvement Tips For Every Homeowner


Big projects or small, home improvement is a challenging, costly, and time-consuming task. Whether you are hiring someone to help you out or doing it yourself, there are many things that have to be considered. Here are seven tips for every homeowner who has caught the home improvement bug.

Begin with a realistic plan

Perhaps  you got excited after watching home improvement shows and suddenly want to change everything. Perhaps they made it look so simple on Youtube that you thought you can DIY anything. Whatever your inspiration for home improvement is, remember that making changes in the home can cost you a lot of time and money.

Always begin with a plan that is realistic to your budget and time. Sure, you can DIY a lot of things but do you have the time for it? You may want the same tiles featured in the magazines but is it within your budget?

Know what you want to do and what it costs to do it. Then, add a nice buffer of at least 15% of the expenses to make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew.

Add value to your home

Your home is your investment. When doing home improvement, make sure your changes and additions add value to your home.

Refinishing the hardwood floors to up the potential sale value or installing a signal booster such as a weBoost Home 4G to increase connectivity throughout the home are worthwhile expenses for the value that they add.

You can also develop your basement into another functional space. Be it an extra room or a home theater or even as something as simple as a basement toilet, renovating that area of the house will add value to your home. When planning changes and additions to your home, it is always good to consider whether it has a return on investment.

DIY

Do It Yourself home improvement projects can help you save a lot of money. However, you have to be aware of your own skills and limitations. Not every home improvement projects are suitable for DIY. If you are a beginner, don't tear the down walls right away. Start small and know when to ask for the help of a professional.

Work with the right contractor

Getting the right contractor is just as important as consulting with the right doctor. Get recommendations from supply houses, neighbors, friends, and online forums. Always ask for the licenses and permits that they need.

Check out the contractor's insurance and always contact references. There are so many home improvement contractor horror stories out there. Make sure that you work only with honest and reliable ones.

Consult an expert

Some home improvement projects just require expert help.  This is especially true for big projects. For example, if you are planning to remove a load bearing wall to have that Pinterest-worthy open space patio, call an expert before doing anything.

You have to accept that no matter how successful your last DIY project was or how many hours you spent watching how-to videos, some projects are not suitable to do yourself.

Make small changes

Home improvement need not involve embarking on big, expensive projects. Sometimes, doing something simple like changing up your curtains or installing an upgraded home security device can do the trick.

Personalize

Adding a personal touch to your home is the best way to improve its style and overall feel. Adding a mini-gallery of your family's photos on your living room wall or adding a new look to your personal library can make the home feel cozier.

14 November 2017

How to build a brick wall

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Brick laying is a skill that you can easily learn provided you are a self-builder and keen to build (or fix) the brick wall in your home. In order to achieve best results, you need to lay quality bricks. You may want to hire an experienced tradesman for the quality results, that may be a cost effective option too. While building a wall or repointing brick, the mortar you use should be of good quality because it helps in maintaining the wall over the years.

As mentioned in the beginning, if you want to get involved in the bricklaying project yourself, you need to practice this skill and the best way to practice is to start with building a wall in your garden. Although it seems easy, but the most experienced DIY will need to practice it first. before you get start with the project consider following requirements. Consider the type of the brick, standard size is recommended, you can consult this chart to get the right type of brick.

1. Layout the Bricks:
When you have prepared the grounds, and necessary foundation is prepared, lay out the bricks at both ends of the wall. With the help of the string line, make a straight line at brick height between the two outside bricks.

2. Mix Sand and Cement:
Accumulate five shovels of sand and one of cement on a board or any surface. With the help of shovel, mix it to make it a consistent color. make the mixture hollow from the center, pour water and mix it well. repeat until it turns into a smooth creamy texture or paste, but not runny mixture.

3. Lay Mortar:
Along the string line, lay 1 to 2 cm mortar bed. Lay first brick, while starting at one end, and tap over it to settle it on the mortar. Apply the mortar paste at one end of the next brick, and place it next to the first brick and attach both of the bricks. Repeat the procedure along with the string line to keep it straight.

4. Place the brick side-on where the pillar starts:
Determine where you want the pillars to start. At that point, place the bricks side-on and to the end of the wall. As you build up the wall, each consecutive course of bricks should be laid in the opposite direction.

5. Lay half-bricks: 
During the process, at certain points, you will need to place half-bricks. In order to split the bricks, place the bricks on its side, place bolster on the split point and strike the head firmly with the hammer and split cleanly at the first stroke.

6. Build one course higher:
It is important to remember that you build at least one course higher on the pillars. As you build the wall, move the string line up. Each brick must be placed over the center of the beneath one.

7. Mortar Joints:
The mortar layer as joints between the bricks, should be thick. Vertical mortar joints should be10mm thick; with the standard size make sure it is 75mm thick.

8. Attractive Soldier Course for wall:
To make the walls attractive, adding a solder course on the top of the wall is a great idea. To achieve that course, place the bricks vertically lengthways. A second higher string line will be required for the uniform look.

9. Finish the beds:
In order to remove the excess mortar in beds, scrape the mortar into joints with the rounded edge of the brick jointer. Remember, start finishing with the horizontal lines and follow with the vertical ones.

10 November 2017

Six Living Room Ideas for Winters

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Winters are all about staying cozy and warm. You have kept your home cool whole summer, and now it is time to turn off the air conditioners and get ready for the winter season. Embrace the winters and upgrade your home for the winter season.

If you are tired of trying the same old setting and furniture for your living during winters, you don’t need to worry because we have got you covered today. With our list of few ideas you can make your living room as amazing and comfortable as you ever wanted it to be. You must have heard about the Danish concept hygge; that’s when you make your living space and yourself comfortable and cozy for the winters, in this article we are suggesting you some new trends that you can opt to make hygge more warm and welcoming. Let’s discover what is in our list for your home!

1. Go Beige this Winter:

Winters don’t have to be in dark colors. Break that rule this winter by adding beige in your living room. Brighten up your winter living room with beige and white combination. Addition of the wool throw and sweater pillow makes your living room a little cozier.

2. Fill Your Room with Rattan Furniture:

In order to make your living room look vintage inspired, grab a set of rattan furniture and place it near the fireplace. A big plus, it gives more space to the room and suits best if you have a small living room. If you are not sure where to buy a quality rattan chairs, visit Hudson Furniture today.

3. Notch it up with Slipcovered Sofa:

Slipcovered sofa changes the game. Transform your living room in winters with slipcovered sofa to give it warm feel. It adds more texture and softness to the room. Isn’t it amazing to curl up in slipcovered and sip a cup of coffee in cozy evenings of winter?

4. Go Vintage:

If you are lucky enough to already have dark hardwood floor, an addition of a wood-burning stove and brown leather chair in the corner of your living room gives it complete vintage look. It’s amazing to fill your room with some antiques when the current setting seems somewhat boring and neutral.

5. White Setting:

we already have beige in our list. How about white living room with some pastels? It creates coziness and brightens up the room in snowy and dull winters. White can be paired with shades of pink, blue or green to give the room lively look.

6. Country Fireplace with Leather Chairs:

A pair of black or dark brown leather chairs is a great idea with a country fireplace. Along with a couple of antique wall hangings and rug would make the setting complete and warm. For a variety of color and shapes of leather sofas, you don’t have to waste time finding in other places, instead visit Hudson Furniture today and make your home welcoming for the winters.

Few Tips for a Cozy Home:

  • Create a reading corner in your room. It’s great to curl up in with hot drink with a freezing weather outside.
  • Add floor pillows to add extra comfort. 
  • Don’t throw away old sweaters instead use them as pillow cases. It is a great way to add coziness in the atmosphere
  • Glow candles. There is nothing like candles that warms up your home.
  • Add layers of rugs to make your living room warmer and cozier.

Share your thoughts about what you would like the most in your living room to make it warmer?

01 November 2017

How to Make Your Garden Appear Bigger

Having a big and beautiful garden is every homeowner’s dream, but not all properties are blessed with the extra space to make that happen. Don’t let limited garden space deter you from having a beautiful garden though because there are still so many things you can do with the patio area.

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In this article, we are going to focus more on making the garden appear bigger than it really is. These next several tips we are about to discuss will help you get started in no time.

Limit the Use of Lawn

Lawns are great in bigger gardens, but too big of a lawn area can actually make your garden appear smaller without the right design. On top of that, you also have to invest in lawn maintenance to keep the garden looking pristine in the long run.

Instead of using a lot of lawn, use beds with simpler designs in order to create the appearance of a large space. The simple design will help keep garden maintenance simple too. You can combine the planting beds with other garden features for a cleaner, more spacious design.

Utilize Straight Pathways

Another great and simple way to make your garden appear bigger is to use straight pathways. Curves will only make the garden appear cramped and smaller; straight lines create the exact opposite effect, which is the effect you want to go for.

It is also a great idea to use darker colors or colors that blend well with the surrounding elements. Aside from the standard pathway colors, you can also turn to decomposed granite colors or other finishing colors to achieve different results.

Add Elevation Changes

Changes in elevation is another great way to create the illusion of space. You can add a deck closer to the house. Raised wooden decks work best for this purpose.

You can even make the elevated areas more pronounced to further push the effect. The area can then be used for the kids to play on or for placing patio furniture to use on special occasions.

Scale the Design

One thing to avoid when you are trying to utilize a small garden space is using design elements that don’t fit size-wise. Adding a water feature that is too big for the garden, for example, can quickly make the garden appear smaller.

Use scale to your advantage when trying to make the patio area look bigger than it really is. When choosing pavers, find the right size to achieve the desired effects. The same can be said for trees, water features, and other elements of the garden. A consistent scale across all of them is what you want.

Keep It Functional

Last but not least, keep the garden functional with furniture and patio items that fold away. You can avoid a cramped-looking garden by storing the furniture away when they are not in use. When you do want to host a garden party or a relaxing afternoon in the garden, on the other hand, the furniture is still available.

These tips will make your garden appear bigger. Utilize them the next time you remodel your garden and have a beautiful and spacious garden at the end of the project.

09 October 2017

What You Should Know About Perimeter Surveying

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Perimeter surveying is one of those subjects that you probably know very little about as it is not something which often affects you. However, it is something that you are likely to need one day and for that reason alone it is worth knowing what a perimeter survey is and why it is important. In fact there are several types of land survey which you should know about.

The Perimeter Survey

The perimeter survey is undertaken to establish the exact boundaries of a property and, in the process, define an accurate size of the land and any property on it.

In addition the perimeter survey will acknowledge and show any easements or encroachments which affect the property. It can be useful to know the exact area of your land and also discover that the local farmer has the right to walk through your living room!

As part of this survey land markers will be placed at the edges of the property; helping you and your neighbors know where the boundaries are and who is responsible for them.

An important part of a perimeter survey includes a detailed topographic survey. It is wise to use a reputable and experienced firm when having these surveys undertaken.

The topography of a piece of land is the dimensions; this includes undulations in the land, the location of nearby streams and other features, fire hydrants, drainage and even the sewers.

Of equal importance is the fact that the topography shows the heights of the surrounding buildings; this can be exceptionally important if you are looking to build a property or extend the current one.

Why Have A Perimeter and Topographical Survey Completed

The answer is actually very simple; to ensure that all the relevant information is available to you before you buy your land and building or even just a building site.

All the facts displayed in these surveys will help you to calculate the cost-effectiveness of your project accurately. This will help to ensure you have the necessary finances before you start.

Additional Facts About Perimeter Surveys

Perimeter surveys can also help to resolve any ongoing dispute between you and your neighbors. It is a relatively cheap process and will show all the current fences, hedges and even walls. Combining this with accurate and marked boundary posts will ensure that you and your neighbors know exactly where they stand.

It is generally cheaper than a full land survey as you can opt for a perimeter survey without the topographical part.

The perimeter survey is conducted with information from the deeds to the land and surrounding properties. It will be completed with a mixture of compasses, old fashioned tape measures and GPS devices.

If you want the topography mapped as well then you will see the familiar tripods with laser leveling equipment.

It can take less than an hour to complete a survey or it can take all day, the time required will be dependent on the size and complexity of the land.

If you are considering a perimeter survey then it is important to use a local firm with a good reputation; this will ensure you receive a good level of service and an accurate report.


20 September 2017

How to choose the perfect kitchen stool


The kitchen is where the family really resides. It is a place where family members and guests eat, chat and make beautiful memories together. Every other room has a singular purpose, whereas the kitchen welcomes all and serves all! Consequently, your kitchen space needs to be well furnished, making it both beautiful and functional. Stools are among the first things you need to consider when choosing your benchtop style and kitchen cupboard layout. Ensuring space for kitchen stools allows you to be flexible with guest seating, casual dining options, and keeping the chef company while cooking. A breakfast bench or kitchen island is a necessity for a great kitchen design. The perfect kitchen stool needs to be at a suitable working height for your cooking helpers and ergonomically designed to make it convenient to sit for long chats and casual meals. Here are some points you should consider when buying kitchen stools:

Choosing the perfect height

How will you most commonly use the kitchen stools? Do you want a stool for the island kitchen or something that can also act as a bar chair? Needless to say, you will have to measure the height that you would be comfortable sitting at. A general recommendation is to have the seat between 9” and 13”. A chair stool is typically designed to seat at 18” from the floor. These can be easily paired with an island kitchen that is between 28” and 30” in height. Counter stools, on the other hand are designed between 24” and 26” and can be paired with counters and tables that are between 36” and 39”. Lastly, bar stools come at an average height of 29”. They are best paired with counters that stand between 40” and 42” in height.

The number of stools that you need

While you can always have an extra stool in your kitchen or stored as backup, it is necessary to have comfortable spacing between your usable stools. When at dinner or socializing, you don’t want to be bumping elbows. The rule of thumb is to allow between 21” and 22” of space per stool. In case, you are going for stools with arms, you will need to extend the spacing in between.

The style of kitchen stool

This depends on whether you are looking to make a kitchen design statement or if you want to keep the seating discrete and tucked away under the benchtop. Also, you will need to consider comfort level which varies greatly amongst stool styles. The longer people will typically sit on the stool, the more you need to consider comfort. Stools with deep seating, arm rests and thick padding are designed for comfort and typically used for cafe furniture seating.

If you have a small or narrow kitchen, you will want to choose stools that take up the minimum space. Backless stools are perfect in this case. However, backless stools are not the ost comfortable choice.

Futhermore, It is necessary to consider the material of the stool. The kitchen can get damp, smokey, messy, and you use harsh chemicals to clean up. Your stools need to be made of hearty materials that you can easily clean and that will last a long time in a harsh environment. Metal, polished wood and leather materials are good choices for this.

There are many stool design options. Do your research, have fun, and find the perfect stools that will make your kitchen even better!

03 July 2017

Four Ways to Spruce Up Curb Appeal

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Curb appeal is usually something that homeowners do not consider unless they are planning to put their houses on the market. The notion of your property making the best first impression, however, is something that you should pursue even if you are not planning to sell anytime soon. Here are four ways for you to spruce up your home’s curb appeal.

1. Paint the front door and window seals

Many people think of dollar signs when they consider exterior painting. You, however, do not need to give the entirety of your home a complete color change to have a new look. Painting your front door with a bold color provides the same shock factor at a fraction of the cost. Consider matching your door’s color scheme with the outer window seals and overall trim of the home for added effects. While painting the home's trim, consider checking the exterior of your residence for necessary repairs. It is usually during minor renovations outside that homeowners discover problems that only skilled roofing contractors in San Antonio TX or Harrisburg PA for example, or indeed anywhere across the country can address. Just think: your simple paint job can spruce up your curb appeal all while helping you catch acute issues that could cost you thousands if left untreated.

2. Swap out your mailbox

Installing a new mailbox takes just over an hour, depending on the size and mounting of the box, yet it revives your property in ways you may have never thought possible. Many view the mailbox as the first welcoming aspect of the home. If such is the case, then you need to make sure that your box reflects your personality. Consider splurging with a bit of creativity for large mailboxes. You can remain innovative and practical with built-in mailboxes as well by decorating the area surrounding the flap. In all of your creativity, make sure that you check with your city’s ordinances to ensure that your mailbox complies with regulations. The last thing that you want is to have to remove your mail holder because of a hidden rule.

3. Install flower boxes

Plants work wonders for curb appeal. Installing a few flower boxes or plant bowls is a great way to add color to the outside of your home. It is important to remember, however, that failing to care for flowers associated with the front of your home is counterproductive to your mission of a beautiful curb appeal. 

4. Install LED Lights and replace address numbers outside

LED lights make the environment safer at night, and larger address numbers allow visitors to find your house with ease. New LED lights and placards come with an abundance of benefits aside from contributing to curbside appeal. You should consider upgrading your light fixtures alongside new LED lamps for an even more improved exterior look.

Many people think that upgrading curbside appeal will cost thousands. The truth is that you can make small improvements that will have lasting effects on the exterior of your home. Remember that the outside of your residence is the first thing that guests see. You, therefore, want it to reflect your vision just as much as the interior portion of your home.

30 June 2017

Home Ownership: Two Areas to Watch out for

Home ownership is an integral part of the American dream. However, despite the rewards of home ownership, there are undoubtedly costs — physical, monetary and time — of being a home owner. Anyone who has spent a brisk fall afternoon cleaning out gutters stuffed with soggy leafs can tell you that it is not a fun task, and neither is nailing down loose shingles or patching cracks in an old foundation.

Given how daunting home ownership can be — particularly for first time owners or those who have an older house — many people do not have the slightest idea about where to start. What are the projects that people should focus on first? There is no one clear cut answer to this challenging question. For some homes, the answer is easy — if your roof leaks every time it sprinkles, clearly a new roof should be your first priority. On the other hand, if sparks shoot out of your outlets every time you plug in a lamp, then getting a qualified electrician out to assess your electrical system should be priority number one.

Not all necessary home repairs, however, are big ticket items, such as a new roof, upgraded electrical, or all new plumbing. Some projects are much less costly and less time intensive. But, this does not mean that these smaller projects can be overlooked. In fact, overlooking these everyday chores can lead to long-term problems and even bigger costs.

Source: Pixabay

Two important everyday chores that a homeowner should definitely place on their to do lists are cleaning their carpets and pumping out their septic tank (even the mere mention of a septic tank is enough to get a nose wrinkle or a loud EWWWWW out of even the least squeamish homeowners).

Even though vacuuming is on most people’s weekly list of things they have to do, vacuuming alone is often not enough to get dirt, germs, and grime out of a person’s house — particularly if people regularly wear shoes into the home. A recent newspaper article explained that carpeting is often the single dirtiest item in a home — far surpassing the toilet seat as a petri dish of bacteria, dust, and millions of other creepy crawly things. If vacuuming alone is not enough to get your carpets clean, then what should you do. The answer is relatively straightforward. You should arrange for professional carpet cleaning, ideally steam cleaning, at least once per year. The cost of this cleaning will vary, depending on the location where you live and the size of your house. The bigger the house, the higher the bill. But, even for a large home, the costs are relatively reasonable.

Once you have tackled your carpeting, the next step on your to do list should be pumping out your septic tank. Many homeowners forget that their properties have septic tanks, and even more overlook the necessity of regularly pumping one’s tank. In general, a septic tank will need to be pumped once every one to three years — but the frequency will depend on factors, such as the size of the tank and the size of your family.

Forgetting to pump your tank can cause expensive and smelly failures. But, regularly pumping your tank need not break the bank. Most septic tank pumping can be done for less than $300. And with some basic skills and YouTube tutorials to help you, many homeowners can figure out how to pump their own tank.

Being a homeowner can be one of the greatest joys in your life—but these joys also come with costs and responsibilities. Don’t forget to regularly repair and maintain your home, from major tasks (such as replacing your roof) to the more mundane (like having your carpet professionally cleaned and your septic tank regularly pumped).




27 June 2017

5 Reasons To Live the Urban Life

In the beginning of the 18 and 1900s most people lived pretty harmoniously within the countryside. Then throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the cities began to take shape with industry and more development which brought a surplus of jobs.


With development across the globe, people continue to flock to the city to enjoy the benefits of an easier and more accessible lifestyle that with globalization has brought many multicultural attributes and opportunities. Within the central city in particular you may have less spare square footage, but the trend now is quality over quantity. There are many great reasons to live in the city.

Ditching the Car and Living Consciously

All of us have a responsibility to know and understand our carbon footprint on this earth and how we can individually take responsibility and action. When you live in the city, you may be able to exist just fine without a car. Most urban areas  are seeing the impact of our carbon footprint, which is in part traceable to our love for macho SUVs and our preference to drive  into the city. Some cities like D.C or San Francisco that offer extensive public transportation systems. If you live in the city, you should consider taking public transportation when you can; better yet, you can seek an apartment that is a walkable distance from your job, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. In you may be able to exist without a car at all.

Fun In The City

Living in the city just obviously has a ton more things to do than living in the countryside.  The opportunities of having fun are endless depending on what makes you happy. Almost everything you need or want to do is easily accessible, and there are opportunities to interact with others.

Many places to live allow you to walk, take, the bus, bike, or take a taxi to many things within minutes. A good example is, If you live at The Cole New York City NY or Denver Tech Center Apartments then you are minutes from fine restaurants, cafes, chic shops, grocers and speciality stores, convenient services and a variety of parks and outdoor recreation destinations.

Networking Is Easy In An Urban Center

In today’s world, we all want convenience  Using our smartphones, we are able to use an app to get anything and everything within seconds from food, to a cab or Uber, to even a date. Being in a city in multiplies the opportunities for all this because of the sheer population density.

When you allow yourself to have the opportunity to meet other people from different countries, different lifestyles, and different socio-economic backgrounds, it really opens up opportunities for networking towards career and maybe other things such as dating or friends.

Educational Opportunities Abound

Many of the better universities and other educational institutions often have a campus in the bigger cities. This may be because they partner with a hospital or other institution who provides part of their funding. For you, as an urban resident, this means that you have opportunities to take  an evening class when you work, while enjoying other educational related activities like museums, libraries, and other science or research Institutions which tend to be nearby.


An urban university often attracts teachers with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and a host of experience gained from traveling. These attributes can lead to stimulating discussions and the opportunity to open your mind to new ideas. Many find teachers work in small college sounds, but you will  get your money’s worth if  you take advantage of an urban university.

Experience Great Healthcare 

As with universities, most hospitals have a significant presence in the city. You will have access to excellent health care at facilities that  are staffed with well-paid competent medical staff.

Is living in the city for you? If so, an interesting, convenient life awaits you.



26 June 2017

Upgrade Property Value And Outdoor Utility

The Pergola Factor
Modern technology is merging with stylistic outdoor solutions in more and more appealing ways. Consider the pergola. Basically, this is a slatted roof that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. Sun or rain, your outdoor plans remain the same. Just flip a switch and the slats close, keeping out the rain.

There are quite a few surprisingly effective outdoor pergola designs, and they can be very useful in allowing a get-together to remain outdoors and sustain any weather; according to DeckRemodelers.com: “…you can plan ahead without worry…guaranteeing that your event will go on as planned.”

Adding a pergola to your rear deck area can additionally increase property value. It may not be an increase requisite to your cost of installation, but then again, depending on the options you choose and your inhering property value, it could very well be. If you’re careful about how you buy, what you choose could end up paying for itself.


Maximizing Value
If you really want to maximize your value increase pertaining to such exterior additions, you might double down on your remodel. Deck remodeling options can also be performed on a DIY basis that saves time and money. You might reconfigure your deck for the most cost-effective applications of a pergola.

A new deck with a new environmental shielding device that is built by the homeowner could be affordable enough to source and implement that there’s a very real chance of the combined effect increasing property value. And there are other less transformative solutions you can bring to the table as well, like landscaping.

You don’t have to completely reconfigure the yard for effective landscaping. Cut the grass and get rid of the weeds, then plant grass, flowers, fruit bushes—the works. Spend a year or two on it, and you’ll have a thriving garden. But you’ll want to be careful to institute pest control, as floral ecosystems do attract certain organisms.

Ponds And Mosquitoes
Some like to have a pond in their backyard, which is another thing that can be done with or without professional help, and at varying levels of effectiveness. Ponds attract mosquitoes. One of the best Summer backyard tips is to safeguard the premises against infestation.

When it comes to the Asian tiger mosquito, NJ is a place very likely to be affected; though it’s not only the Garden State  who deals with the pest—according to DelseaPestControl.net, “Nearly everyone is affected by mosquitoes during the warmer months of the year.” Now, there are ways to combat such iinfestation through professional pest control services.

So take a step back and consider the bigger picture. You’ve got a pergola on top of a new deck facing a backyard that may or may not have a little pond with some koi, but likely has exceptional flowers in aesthetic arrangements, no pests, a few rose bushes, perhaps some blackberries, and a ubiquity of pruning to produce the finest effect.


A Winning Situation Either Way You Slice It
You could spend $5,000 and upgrade your property’s value $15,000. Or you could spend $1,000 and multiply value by $5,000. Either way you slice it, you still get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and it gives you a worthwhile project for the summer. Plus, with a pergola you’ve got additional utility on your premises.

If you haven’t looked at your backyard recently and considered what may be done, it could be worth your while to give it some consideration. There could be thousands of dollars just waiting for you to groom them into profit.



23 June 2017

10 Ideas For Your New Kitchen


The kitchen is “the heart of the home” and is (along with the bathroom) the most frequently remodeled room of the average house. So, you are not alone in your kitchen remodeling endeavors, and there is much to learn from others in how to create that perfect kitchen you’ve been envisioning for so long.


Modern American kitchens are a combination of enduring legacies from the past and a never-ceasing stream of new innovations. Every era has left its mark, and there would seem to be no end of the possibilities that continually arise.

10 Great Ideas For A Modern Kitchen

While a full list of trending kitchen elements could fill volumes, we offer here a brief introduction to ten of the most popular components of the modern kitchen:


  1. Spacious, high-performance sinks. No more being forced to crowd your dirty pans on the counter and squeeze them into that under-sized sink one at a time! Many modern sinks combine generous space with built-in splashes, stainless steel builds whirlpool water action, sunk-in side soap holders, and high-efficiency garbage disposal units.
  2. Contemporary kitchen fixtures. Swan-like necks, long, flexible spray hoses, and simple, squarish lever-action faucets are all in vogue. But one of the most important facets of your faucet is its material. Polished silver, chrome, nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze adds a new level of elegance to any kitchen; and these are materials with a shine and inherent value that endures.
  3. Wide open spaces. It’s not just hallways and entry areas that benefit from high ceilings or only living rooms and dining rooms that can be enhanced by breaking down needless walls and barriers. Kitchens too are moving toward open layouts and an “uncluttered” look. Double D Home Improvement of New Jersey recommends you first get a professional analysis of the costs of this kind of re-construction, but they also note it’s stunning design effects are very much worthwhile.
  4. Quartz countertops, not granite. Granite is a beautiful, durable natural stone that is quite befitting to a kitchen countertop. But, alas, it is also a high-maintenance product that can too easily get damaged. Quartz is up and coming as an alternative engineered stone countertop material that requires far less upkeep.
  5. New or upgraded plumbing. According to Plumbing Fix, the new, high-performance appliances of modern kitchens require a good deal of specialized plumbing fixtures, along with detailed knowledge of proper installation techniques. And if your kitchen has older pipes, you might even be better off repiping it in copper or PEX and, at the same time, adjusting the plumbing setup to perfectly accommodate your newly remodeled kitchen.
  6. LED overhead lighting. With stylish lamps positioned strategically over your counters and islands, your kitchen will be well lit and cozy. Add LED bulbs, and it will be energy efficient as well, far more so than incandescent or even halogen/fluorescent.
  7. Induction burner cooking surfaces. To save energy and keep your kitchen cooler during cooking, an induction burner is a smart solution. The surface stays safe to the touch and yet (magical as it might seem) manages to cook quite efficiently. Plus, induction burners don’t need a very big hood, saving you valuable space.
  8. Less high-reach cabinets with deep drawers. Extra deep pull-out drawers at arm level can hold most of your everyday plates and bowls. Built in pegs or other devices keep things organized, and the easy-reach height keeps things convenient.
  9. “Integrated” appliances. While modern kitchen appliances are indispensable for their performance, they can create a hodgepodge look you may not want. Panel in or build cabinetry around each appliance, and a seamless, unified design comes forth.
  10. Decorative ceilings. The kitchen ceiling is often ignored, but design it with patterned cavities or clever moldings, and it can bring your new kitchen to life or make it seem more spacious (particularly with the aid of well placed lighting).


With a little creativity and the services of great contractors, you can make your new kitchen more functional as well as more beautiful.

16 June 2017

Best Plants for Clean Indoor Air

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Inside or outside, plants provide some much-needed color in any environment. Indoors, office plants can help soothe tension, creating a more relaxing and productive environment. Houseplants are ideal for the hobbyist, and indoor herbs provided add scent and flavor to foods prepared in any kitchen.

Indoor plants can help improve the air your breathe, creating a cleaner, healthier environment. Check out some of our favorite interior plants to find one that fits your urban oasis.

Spider Plant

For those who survived the 1980s, the harmless spider plant should be well known. A long-bladed, grass-like plant, it produces tiny, spiked shoots often referred to as "spider babies" for their appearance. These plants are easy to grow, needing little attention and indirect sunlight.

Dracaena

While the leaves are thin and bladelike, similar to the spider plant, this green interior plant has a more tree-like base. Available in over 40 varieties, dracaena is said to remove pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene.

Boston Fern

Described as a plant that can remove more formaldehyde than any other, the Boston Fern is a favorite for its beauty and bushy appearance. Unfortunately, these plants may not be good for the beginner, or for more changeable climates. The ferns require a significant amount of water — but not too much — and may need misting in drier climates. Additionally, these ferns frequently will need plant food during growing season, and occasionally during winter months.

Ficus Plants

Ficus plants are one of those trees you see in office lobbies with small, shiny green leaves. Many variations in these hardy trees include woven branches or neatly trimmed shapes. Mature ficus plants can grow up to 10 feet tall, yet still do well in container settings. While ficus plants are primarily indoor plants in the United States, they may be taken outside during milder months or in gentle climates.

Pothos Plants

You may have seen a pothos plant drifting down the balcony at your local coffee shop, or running along the edges of a bathroom. This plant is a traditional starter plant for many budding gardeners due to its hardiness. A pothos cutting may be kept in either dirt or water, and both options can tolerate a little neglect. Pothos plants can grow to great lengths, providing many long, heart-shaped leaves to help clean your air while needing minimal upkeep.

Aloe Vera

Aloe plants are widely available. Known for its healing qualities, aloe vera has been used to treat cuts, burns, and stings. Some people also like to ingest aloe vera to improve skin and blood sugar. Aloe is a succulent, meaning it thrives in a desert climate. These plants can be grown in sandy soil with minimal moisture, although they do enjoy full sun.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

All these plants can provide beauty to your home or office, but how exactly do they clean the air? Plants absorb carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is given off by humans and animals during respiration.

Recent scientific studies have also shown that plants can clean many additional compounds from your air, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs include benzene and formaldehyde. While these are not chemicals you normally purchase by themselves, they are used in carpet glue and upholstery fabrics. Interior plants absorb these chemicals, allowing you to breathe more freely.

Plants can vastly improve your indoor air quality, whether in home, office or retail stores. After deciding to add plants for better air quality, your next step is choosing the right plants for you. You may want to start with a low-maintenance plant, like a pothos.

For commercial planting, check out Interior Plant Services for local interior landscaping. These professional services can give you the benefit of a wide variety of interior plants without needing the knowledge of a master gardener yourself. Get started with a consultation to start improving your environment now.

15 June 2017

Adding Style and Spaciousness to a Smaller Room

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We cannot all live in a country mansion, and many of us would have no wish to do so. All that space to keep clean and tidy, not to mention the draughts. And as for the heating bills – the smaller home definitely has a lot going for it.

One of the downsides, though, is that while small and cosy is great, cramped and claustrophobic is not – and all too often, we set out to achieve the former and end up with the latter.

Here are five clever design tips for making the most of your small, but perfectly formed, living space.

Create movement

When it comes to small room designs, you will find some experts advocating vertical lines to give an impression of height, and others insisting that horizontal is better to make the room look wider. The truth is that either will work, although you might want to avoid combining the two, unless you want your visitors to go cross eyed.

The key is really to providing a pattern, and a sense of motion – so wooden shiplap on the wall can work perfectly, either horizontally or vertically. On the subject of clever patterns, do not forget the floor.  Hardwood laminate gives the same effect, or how about herringbone flooring for an interesting pattern that catches the eye?

Small room, small furniture

It might sound obvious, but you would be astonished at how many people cram an enormous three piece suite into a small living room and then wonder why there is no sense of space.

When furnishing the room, you need to have the concept of proportion foremost in your mind. In simple terms, if any article of furniture has to be pressed up against the wall or ceiling, it is too big for the room. Always leave a small gap between furniture and walls to create a better sense of space.

Go for sleek lines in your sofa and chairs as opposed to heavy, overstuffed alternatives. They will give just as much sitting space and comfort.

Let in the light

A light, airy room inevitably feels more spacious. Make the most of natural light by getting rid of curtains in favour of blinds or wooden shutters – they also take up less space and are far easier to keep clean, so there really is no downside.

Even if natural sunlight is in short supply, for example if your room has small windows or is north facing, you can work wonders with a carefully positioned mirror, to increase both light and the sense of space.

Also consider full or part glazed internal doors. You will be surprised at how much difference they can make to the overall feel of the room.

White is right

White walls are more reflective and add to the feeling of light and serenity. They also blur the distinction between wall and ceiling, creating the illusion that the ceiling is actually higher.

If you think too much white will feel cold and impersonal, pair it up with that herringbone wood floor we mentioned earlier and some bright wall hangings for a spacious, yet homely feel.

08 June 2017

Spring Cleaning: For the Dogs

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The birds are chirping and the bugs in your newly-landscaped yard are multiplying; Spring is here! And with spring comes spring cleaning. Pets can be sensitive to harsh cleaners. If you have resident animals, check out these recommendations from Rover.com to keep them safe while you’re cleaning.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a safe alternative to heavy chemicals because it breaks down quickly to water and oxygen. This solution is great for germ killing, so kitchen and bathroom countertops are an excellent place to utilize it. Try the ratio of 25% hydrogen peroxide to 70% white vinegar with a bit of water.

Borax

Bleach is harmful to humans and pets--thankfully, borax is a great alternative. Borax is a mineral perfect for cleaning tough stains out of fabric. Mix a half cup of borax with two tablespoons each of salt and borax for a heavy-duty carpet-stain remover. For laundry-stain remover, replace bleach with borax.

Baking soda and white vinegar 

Incredibly versatile and safe for your family, four-legged members included, baking soda and vinegar make an effective cleaner. If you desire a foaming cleanser, simply mix baking soda with lemon juice. To make a deodorizing cleaner, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, leave it for five minutes, then vacuum it up. For more in-depth information about safely cleaning your carpets (accidents happen…) try this.

Wood floors can be difficult to clean but white vinegar is up for the challenge. Dilute a half cup of vinegar with one gallon of water to create a cleanser fit for countertops, sinks, etc. If you’re opposed to the smell of vinegar add lemon juice to the mix.

You likely already have these products in your home; if not, they’re easily accessible and inexpensive. We wish you a happy and safe season of warmth!

07 June 2017

The Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Landscaping Your Yard

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Now that the summer is coming, you will have more of a reason to redesign and landscape your backyard. Warm and sunny days give you a chance to brighten up your lawn and plant new flowers.
Do you find that you don't know how to make your gardens and yard look great? Do you often feel like you have done the wrong thing when landscaping your backyard? If so, you might want to avoid the following mistakes when redesigning your garden.

Keep reading to learn about the top mistakes you should avoid in your garden designs.

Having a large lawn because of tradition

If other people have large, green lawns spanning the entirety of their yards, that doesn’t mean you need to follow the trend. Many people seem to think that this is the common theme meant to be found in every backyard. However, this is not so.

In fact, the large, green lawn is a relatively new phenomenon to landscape design. If you only have so much space in your yard, be aware that a lawn is not your only option.

A lack of color in the autumn

One thing that many miss is the need to keep your garden and yard bright and colorful throughout the Autumn season. Many seem to focus more on the Spring and Summer which leaves the Fall free of flowers and greenery.

To avoid this, be sure to plant some bushes, trees, or flowers in the last months of the year.

You forget about the need for functionality in landscape design

Many people are more concerned about the esthetics and look of their gardens and yards leaving the need for safety, security, and general functionality behind. This means that people may have too many knick knacks including brick walkways and statues in their gardens. Visitors especially children may trip over a knick knack or badly placed brick. To improve safety in your backyard, remove an excess of statues and think about the functionality in your garden design. After removing an excess of knick knacks, think about installing just a simple contemporary water fountain to give your home a great outdoor look.

We hope you will be more prepared to redesign your outdoors by reading this list of mistakes to avoid when landscaping. Be sure to keep your yard functional, colorful in every season, and avoid the large lawn if you want to do more with your space.

06 June 2017

Home Repairs: What to DIY and What to Save for The Professionals

Have a list of home improvement projects, but you’re fretting about paying a professional to get them done?

While it can be tempting to save a few dollars by doing the projects yourself (DIY), the reality is that trying to tackle a complicated home improvement project or appliance repair can actually end up damaging your appliances or causing bigger problems in your home. This ends up costing you way more money, and aggravation, than if you had hired a pro from the start.

DIY is best saved for easy, safe projects:

Leaky Faucet – if your kitchen or bathroom faucets are leaking, the cause is often a worn ring. Taking the faucet apart and replacing the ring is usually pretty easy.

Other causes could be worn-out caulking, or the faucet becoming loose from use.

In all of these cases, a DIY fix is faster and more cost effective than hiring a plumber. It’s also a safe project because if the DIY fix doesn’t work, and the faucet continues to leak, you know there’s a bigger problem and can simply shut the water off to that area and call a plumber for help. There is very little risk of damage to your pipes or plumbing.

Tile Floors – Need new flooring in your bathroom, kitchen, living room or elsewhere in your home?

Putting in tile floors is fairly uncomplicated. Making cuts can become a bit daunting, but if your room doesn’t have a lot of angles, tiling the floor is pretty simple, and poses almost no risks of damage to your home.

Painting – a survey of homeowners found that painting was the most hated home improvement task.

While few people like painting, paying a professional painter can be expensive.

If you can tolerate the taping and edging, you’ll save a bundle by painting your rooms by yourself.

If you want to take on these smaller jobs, that’s totally doable. More complicated jobs, like electrical or appliance repair, on the other hand, can be complicated and dangerous:

Water Heater
Your water heating system is one place where you don’t want to test your DIY skills, especially if you have a gas water heater.

Your water heating system is called into action multiple times every day. Most of us move into homes that come equipped with a water heating system, and we don’t think much about it until the day that we turn the tap and find no hot water.

Water heating systems can break down for several reasons:

Flue Misalignment or Breakage – When the flue of your water heating system is misaligned, broken, or not connected securely, it can cause a carbon monoxide leak. Unfortunately, this problem is common with DIY water heater repair, and it can be deadly.

Pressure Relief Valve Problems - One of the most dangerous, and common, DIY water heater fixes is to modify the pressure relief valve. This valve is responsible for letting out the pressure built up while your system is heating your water.

If this valve isn’t functioning properly, or has been modified improperly, it can lead to an explosion.

Never modify the pressure relief valve alone. This is usually a quick, cost-effective fix for a water heating system professional, and not at all worth the potential life-threatening explosion and fire risk of doing the job yourself.

Electrical and Wiring Problems – water heaters are built to last between 8 – 10 years. Usually, the wiring and electrical components break down first. If your water heater is still fairly young, it’s worth the small investment to hire a professional to fix the wiring.

Electrical issues in a water heating system can be complicated. Do not attempt to fix them alone because there is a huge risk of electrocution, irreparable damage to the water heater, and fire.


Gas Heater
Gas heat is an energy efficient way to keep your home warm.

When something goes wrong with a gas heater, it’s time to call in a professional.

If your furnace isn’t heating up, is cycling on and off constantly, is noisy, or won’t turn on because the pilot light won’t stay lit, you need to call in a gas heater repair expert.

Why not just fix the problem yourself?

Gas is dangerous. Even the smallest gas leak causes fire and explosion risk. Plus, gas leaks can make you and your family very sick.

It is never worth putting your family and home in danger by trying to save a few dollars with a DIY repair. Gas heater servicing by a professional usually costs very little, and you benefit by knowing that all connections are secured and there will be no dangerous leaks.

Dishwasher Repair
Dishwasher problems, such as water not draining, not enough hot water during the washing cycle, or leaks are pretty common.

Some fixes are complicated, while others can be fairly simple.

But, before trying to fix your dishwasher alone, you should know that small mistakes can cause huge problems.

For example, trying to repair your dishwasher when it is not draining can seem like a simple fix. Often, DIY methods only work for a few washes.

Why?

Because deeper inside the plumbing, there are bigger problems.

One of the most common is that DIY methods push clogs deeper into the pipes. This causes pressure buildup, which leads to burst pipes. One broken pipe is all it takes to flood your home and cause damage to your floor, walls, and cabinets.

Flooding also increases fire risk.

The main advantage to hiring professional to fix your dishwasher is that they have the tools, and experience, to fix the problem correctly the first time. They can also discover clogs early, and remove them up before they cause flooding.

Ovens and Stoves

Next to a water heater, ovens and stoves are the most dangerous to DIY repair.

Why?

Your oven is a lot more intricate than you might think.


Because we use our stoves and ovens every day, it’s easy to take for granted just how much is going on behind the scenes:

  • Thermostat
  • Gas pipes or electrical wiring
  • Valves and fuses

These can be damaged unintentionally even during a fairly straight forward repair when done by a non-professional.

If you have a gas stove, do not attempt to fix it yourself.

Even the smallest amount of leakage can cause serious fire hazards. You can call the fire service to test, but they cannot test your stove every day. Daily use can knock fuses, valves, and pipes out of place. If you have not had a professional do the job, you risk causing a gas leak.

Gas stoves and other appliances are the number 1 cause of house fires in the United States. In Australia, cooking appliances, heating systems, and electrical equipment make up 3 of the top 4 causes of house fires.

Please call in a professional before you attempt any appliance repair.

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