30 May 2018

The Items You Need to Improve Your Home Décor


No matter whether you are decorating your very first home or are looking to overhaul just one room that needs sprucing, interior design is lots of fun and is the ultimate way to put your own stamp on a home to make it yours. However, interior design can be a tricky, and costly, process and so it is vital that you are not wasting your money on unnecessary purchases. In this article, we are taking you through the items that you should consider implementing in your new interior design project that will instantly lift a room.

Plants 

One of the easiest ways in which you can spruce up your home is to bring the outdoors, in! Really, this type of purchase can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. This can range from anything from a gorgeous bonsai tree to a simple fern. It is also important to consider the maintenance of plants and so you may want to opt for one that is not going to require a whole lot of attention from you. Plants come in a tonne of different shapes, sizes and colours, so no matter what the colour scheme is of your home, you should be able to find one that fits with your room.

Rugs 

A good investment to make in any room when it comes to interior design is a rug. This can add colour, warmth and texture to any room and it is definitely an essential for any room that has a cold wood or tiled floor. Always try to check it out in person before purchasing online so you can get a better idea of its real size and how it will fit in your room.

Artwork

Another easy way to add some gorgeous finishing touches to a room when having an interior design overhaul is to get good artwork. We would recommend getting a focal piece for a room as not only will it add that little something extra to your room, it will also act as a great conversation piece. At an online art marketplace such as Fine Art America, you can choose from a wide range of wall art prints including framed prints, canvas prints, art prints, metal prints, acrylic print and posters. With millions of unique products to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect artwork for the room you are designing.

Chairs

No matter whether you are changing up the interior design of your kitchen, living room, or dining room, chairs are normally always involved and can be a great feature in any room. Opt for a comfortable feature chair that everyone will want to sit in and that adds personality to a room.

Pillows

Finally, don’t forget the importance of a good pillow. Pillows provide the homely feel to a room and you can even match them to your artwork for a polished and sleek look. We would recommend keeping away from the unusual patterns and textures and opting for classic styles with soft edges and clean colours.

29 May 2018

Pests in Your Home: More Than Just a Nuisance


Pests are almost unavoidable, populating every part of the globe. The problem is that for every specimen you see there are many more that you don't. Once they enter your domain, they tend to reproduce and invite others and before you know it you have a pest infestation. Not only are they a bother, but they can get into and contaminate your food supply, bite, cause allergies and disease and damage the structure of your home. The good news is that you have the ability to reduce the risks of pests entering your home through common sense measures and professional services.

When to Use Pest Control

A fly here and there or a stray ant making its way to your sink may not warrant the need for professional help. However, if you live in a bug-friendly region like Northern Virginia and turn on the lights to find many bugs scurrying to seek cover, calling the pros is certainly something to consider. Luckily there are many companies that specialize in pest control in the Northern VA area and other places where a variety of bugs pose a threat to homeowners. They can do a thorough search of your home, including the outside perimeter to see if you have an undetected infestation. Then they will then provide a monthly treatment designed to address your particular needs based on their findings.

Disrupting Your Life

Pests are more than just a nuisance. They come into your home seeking shelter and food. The problem is that if you don't properly seal dry goods or prolong your cleanups they will take root. Things like replacing the paper flour and sugar bags with plastic resealable containers are a step in the right direction. Wiping down counters and appliances, vacuuming and cleaning floors often also helps. If you have children make sure to limit their snacks to certain areas so as not to spread the insects to other areas of your home. Leaky pipes that produce moisture can also cause insects to stay around. Bugs like the cockroach hang out near moisture-prone areas. By eliminating access to water you can help to rid your home of these critters.

Hazardous to You and Your Family

During the spring and fall months, many people open their windows and doors as a way of bringing in the fresh air. Unfortunately, if your screens are not sealed properly or have holes in them, that's not all that will enter. Insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and bees will also find their way inside. Flies regurgitate every time they land on you, your furniture, countertops, or your food. Since they collect food from dirty sources like trash cans, they can spread diseases like typhoid causing family members to become sick. Many mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus which is especially dangerous to seniors and young children and bees that have a hive near your home can become territorial and protective making them aggressive and willing to sting. Before opening your windows make sure that the screens fit tightly and that there are no visible holes.

Compromising Your Home's Structure

If you live near a construction site or an abandoned home, you may end up with insects like the carpenter ant or termites. Since they work their way from the inside out, early detection is critical to preserving your home's foundation and structure. Once you see one it's almost always too late. If you reside near suspect areas or if you think you may have a problem, have a professional take a look to confirm or allow you to breathe a sigh of relief.

Preventative Measures

Regardless of the climate, you live in, pests will find a way indoors. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce the possibility of them entering. Trim hedges, cut back tree limbs and remove weeds from around the perimeter of your home. Make sure your outdoor spigot is completely off and dispose of any stale source of water accumulated from recent rains. If you have a wood pile near your home, move it back at least 5 to 10 feet from your foundation.

Humans and pests coexist, so there is never a way to completely eliminate them from your home. However, there are many ways to prevent an infestation and keep them under control.

21 May 2018

Ways to Update Your Home


It might seem like a superfluous task to fix up your home. You already live there and, as long as things work, you may feel fine with the way things are. However, taking the time to remodel and repair has beneficial effects on your cost of living, quality of life, and your overall health. The how and why might seem baffling at first, but there are a number of ways to update your home, at an affordable cost. Here are just a few tips to help you get started.

The Why

Updating your home can affect your health. A remodel is a change in your life, and change is good for you! It allows you to practice flexibility and adapt to different circumstances. Change also pushes you out of your comfort zone. When you learn to be okay with the changing circumstances around you, you get out of your rut. This can also help you manage anxiety and stress in a more healthy way, with positive coping skills and acceptance, instead of a fight. Changing your home can be a deep emotional experience. A home is full of memories and it can seem disloyal to change anything about the way it has always been. However, if you welcome the change, you may find it becomes even better than what it was when you began. You can do it.

Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel is one of the most popular home updates, and with good reason. Modernizing your kitchen can improve everything from basic cooking to family gatherings during the holidays. Some ways to do this include switching to stone or glass countertops, and sanding and painting your wooden cabinets to give them a new flair. If your kitchen needs more than a few slight changes, you should consider a full and complete kitchen remodel. This gives you the opportunity to work up close with design professionals to reinvent your kitchen. The creative choices are up to you; however, you will have the chance to run them by a designer, to be sure you have what you want. Remodeling this way also takes some of the DIY pressure off of you. From the financial aspect, a full kitchen remodel can cost upwards of $15,000. If the price is too steep, a remodeling company might help you get the financial assistance to make the changes you want to make. Don’t be afraid to ask about their financial aid options.

Appliance Repair

Now is the time to fix that old dishwasher you keep saying you will address someday. Even the most state-of-the-art appliances can receive a great deal of wear and tear over the years. You want to be sure your appliances work as they should, so they last even longer. This is why you should contact a company who makes this their specialty, like appliance repair Bend. They can fix your appliances, from microwaves, ovens, and refrigerators, to more specialty appliances, like your patio heater or pizza oven. If you aren’t sure whether to repair or replace an appliance, experts suggest that if the repair costs more than fifty percent of the cost of replacing, you should purchase a new one. The best way to avoid full replacement is proper upkeep. Regular maintenance ensures the lifespan of your appliances.

Security and Locks

If your home security is not up-to-date, you need to make it so. Statistics show that 66% of burglaries are residential, and that homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be targeted. Don’t let you and your family become prey because of an overlooked necessity. Luckily, there are many self-service security technologies you can install and monitor yourself. These allow you to track video footage for specific times and dates. You can also use a company to help you set up your new security system, if you don’t feel comfortable attempting it alone. If the idea of this is baffling, you can start small. Changing your locks can be as easy as contacting residential locksmith services to help you renew your home security. By taking this step, you lessen your chances of being a victim of a forced-entry, making your home and family safe and sound under any circumstance. There are so many options to protect you, so get cracking.

New Roof

If you don’t already have a metal roof, it’s a good idea to consider getting one. In comparison to asphalt shingles, metal roofs are stronger and tend to last longer. Metal roofs have also been shown to minimize heating and cooling costs, lower insurance rates, and can have environmental benefits. The panels of a metal roof fit together to provide superior coverage. Unlike asphalt shingles, the metal panels lock together and are less likely to fall off and break due to weathering. This results in fewer leaks and fewer repairs. You very well may end up needing to replace shingle roofing as soon as seven years after its installation. While you might pay more for a metal roof up front, the cost exponentially beats that of repairing asphalt tiles. Find a local contractor to help you decide if residential metal roofing is right for you.

The changes you make to your home will improve your life. Installing newer, energy efficient technology can lower your environmental impact and cost of living. Not only will your appliances and amenities be newer, but your life will feel easier knowing that things work the way they should. No more damp clothes coming out of the dryer or putting out buckets under your leaky roof when it rains. By embracing the change that comes with fixing up your home, you will learn how to be adaptable in any situation. Remodeling will help you jump out of your rut into a brave new world--and a beautiful, fresh-feeling house.

Ways to Waterproof Your Kitchen

In a home, the kitchen is often the center of all activity.

Almost all residents and guests pass through the kitchen and use it for its many purposes – crafting meals, enjoying a snack or a drink together, passing quick conversations over breakfast before work or school, washing hands, and much, much more.

The kitchen also receives a lot of water activity, and sometimes it is unwanted water. Spills, steam vapor, pipe leaks, overflowing sinks and a myriad of other problems can strike a kitchen at any time. Especially when living in a tropical climate like Florida or other wet and humid places prone to leaks and flooding, keeping your kitchen dry can feel like a very real and very important challenge.

However, there are ways to keep this beautiful and essential space safe and dry in your home.

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Whether you’re building a kitchen from scratch or just want to update your existing space, check out these three great ways to waterproof your kitchen and protect it from as much potential water damage as you can.

1. Choose Your Floors Wisely

If you’re building or redoing your kitchen, an easy way to be smart about waterproofing starts with the materials you use to build and decorate this space.

An easy switch to keep your kitchen safe is using tile instead of wood or laminate floor. Tile, when bound together by grout, is sealed off from water. This will keep your floors safer from water, whether it’s a quick spill or a hefty flood. With tile flooring, you can wipe up or drain your kitchen much faster and without fear of further damage, mold or any other underlying issues!

2. Bring the Outdoors In 

While you can swap out flooring choices fairly easily in a new kitchen, choosing cabinet materials may not present as simple of a switch. It’s probably pretty practical to believe that your kitchen will include wood cabinetry, which could be damaged by leaky pipes or flooding if left unprotected. Water-damaged wood can also harbor mold, a definite health hazard.

Thankfully, there are special cabinets made to be waterproof, weatherproof and life proof. Turning your search for new cabinets to the outdoors can result in some pretty amazing finds.

With the rise in popularity of outdoor kitchens, outdoor cabinets have been created to withstand rain, snow and other soggy experiences. Using these cabinets inside can save you a lot of headaches in the future if something were to go wrong.

3. Protect What You’ve Got

If you’ve already got a kitchen you love and don’t have the desire, time or budget to replace any of its existing features, have no fear. Thankfully, tools have been created to help protect your kitchen as well. There are ways to waterproof your kitchen, mainly your cabinets, that can make a big improvement with just a little time and elbow grease.

First, protect the insides of your cabinets with vinyl tiles. These tiles usually run incredibly cheap, and many come with peel and stick adhesive already fixed on the back. Use these tiles to cover the plywood bottoms of your cabinets. This will help protect the wood from inevitable, daily drips, small leaks and spills.

Also, be sure to laminate your cabinets. Laminate can be found at any home improvement store and will add an essential extra barrier between the wood of your cabinets and water, preventing damage. You can laminate your cabinets yourself with a little sandpaper, wood glue and some nails, or you can call a professional to do it for you. Either way, this is a step that should not be skipped.

What If Water Has Already Struck?

Your kitchen is a beautiful space that deserves the protection it needs to continue to thrive. Accidents happen easily and quickly, so don’t delay on taking these steps to preserve your space.

But if you’re already dealing with a water damage crisis, don’t fret. It doesn’t mean the end of your kitchen. It will mean, however, that you will need to contact true experts in water damage restoration. If you do live in a humid state, like Florida, you will want to be sure to find Florida property restoration experts who specialize in the efforts and techniques required to repair water damage when the climate is so naturally wet and humid. It will take a bit more work, but you will be able to get your kitchen back.

So, go forth, and enjoy your water-proofed kitchen free of anxiety!

18 May 2018

Making the most of your space

Roughly seven in ten homeowners in Britain say they are not happy with their home and 28% of participants stated that their home is simply too small for them…

So, how can this be resolved? By making just a few changes to your home, some DIY spirit, a few decent decorating tools and a bit of good old fashioned elbow grease you can quite literally transform your home to not only appear bigger but to have much more useable space. Try a few of the tips and tricks in the infographic below and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference you can make.


15 May 2018

The Colorful World of Laminate Flooring


Flooring is not something that you would frequently consider as a key aspect of your home design. After all, when looking around your own or someone else’s home, you will rarely look at their floor first. Normally it’s their wallpaper, mirror or other decorative feature instead.

In reality however the floor is the most critical aspect of your room design. This is because the tone and color pallet of your floor, acts as a catalyst to the rest of your room design. From wall coverings to furniture, it all goes through what kind of floor you have in the room.

From tiled flooring to natural hardwood flooring, each type and style will affect the direction that your home design will take.

So what if there was a type of floor which is flexible enough to meet your exact design ambitions, while also delivering the charisma found within natural hardwood flooring.

Thankfully there is such a combination – the colorful world of laminate flooring.

This is one of the most customizable forms of home flooring, allowing you to fulfill your design ambitions by designing from the ground up.

This is thanks to a thin printed layer within each piece of laminate flooring, allowing for a wide range of colours and shades, normally difficult to obtain in natural wood flooring.

For example, take a look at our white laminate flooring, offering a distinctive wood look and feel in a sleek and cool white finish; allowing light to envelop the room like nothing else.

What’s better is that this does not need staining or any other expensive work to achieve this look. So how does laminate flooring achieve this feat?

It all lies in its design, as each piece consist of a durable and hardwearing central layer – which the printed design is layered on. After this a transparent layer is then placed over this, creating the desired effect.

This allows for multiple colors and grain effects including brown, oak effect, black and grey laminate flooring.

This offers limitless possibilities when renovating your home as with a simple snap, click installation common with most laminate designs, you can completely change the tone of any room.

For example say you are looking to maintain the soothing and sophisticated look in your bedroom yet need to replace your aging carpet. Then how about some brown laminate wood flooring. On the other side of things, say you were wanting to define your new dining room space, how about some traditional oak laminate flooring, for a traditional restraint look and feel.

What’s great is how long this new color and tone will remain within the home. Bypassing the fragility and high maintenance of tiles, hardwood and vinyl floors; the 4 layers found in laminate gives it enhanced durability.

This makes it a great option for rooms with heavy traffic levels such as the living room, thanks to its hardwearing design. This also means it is easier to clean and maintain, as spillages and dirt can simply be mopped away, without much risk to your floor.

Once this foundation is down then you can begin to design your room around the unique tones and color pallets available with laminate wood flooring, or even simply find the color that’s fits your current design.

09 May 2018

Top Advantages To Installing Solar Shades In Your Home

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If you’re looking to replace your current blinds or shades over your windows, you’ll definitely want to give solar shades a close look.

Solar shades are unique over other kinds of window treatments in that they work by reflecting the rays of the sunlight rather than allowing it to come through the window, while simultaneously absorbing the heat from outside.

The best analogy would be to think of solar shades as sunglasses. Your sunglasses can both filter and shield sunlight, and solar shades are the same way.

Now that you know what solar shades are and why they work, you might be wondering why exactly they would be a wise investment for your home.

Here are the top advantages to installing solar shades in your home:

They Are Available In Numerous Designs

Most blinds and shades are available in a wide variety of styles, designs, colors, shapes, and textures, and solar shades are no exception. It’s not like you’re limited to just one or two designs. You can certainly find a set of shades that will complement the colors and furniture in your room to give that room a more appealing and attractive look and feel to it.

They Block UV Rays

One of the best benefits to solar shades is the fact that they are effective at blocking ultraviolet (UV) rays. This is important for your family’s health, because UV rays can potentially cause diseases such as skin cancer.

They Protect Your Furniture

There are many natural enemies of furniture, including spilled beverages, pet hair, and of course, sunlight. In fact, sunlight can really degrade your furniture and cause it to lose value. Solar shades are very efficient at filtering out sunlight and especially UV light, which means you’ll protect the investment you made into your furniture.

They More Efficiently Regulate Heat

Solar shades do far more than just keep sunlight out of your home. They are also very efficient at minimizing the amount of heat that transfer into your home from the outdoors. When that heat is blocked, it means that your home can feel like a cool haven from the hot and humid air that’s outside.

They Reduce The Need For Air Conditioning

Since solar shades work wonders for reducing the temperature inside of your house during a warm summer day, the need for your air conditioning is naturally reduced. This will enable you to save more on money.

Furthermore, during the winter, solar shades will likewise to help conserve the heat inside of your home, which will make your home more energy efficient and also help you to cut your expenditures on your monthly bills.

Installing Solar Shades

Our solar shades the only great window treatment option? No, but they definitely are among the most technologically advanced window treatment options available, and are an excellent way to improve your home without spending a ton of money.

Top Tips for Renting Out Your Spare Room

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If you’re looking for some extra cash, you might have considered renting out your spare room. This is a great idea that works well, but it is important that you consider everything before letting someone move in. We’ve put together a list of some things that you should consider when deciding to rent your room out.

Get References

If you are going to let someone move into your home while you are living with it, you want to make sure that both you and your property are safe. By asking prospective tenants for references from previous landlords, you can figure out who is the best tenant for you. Perform a few of your own background checks, have a look at their public online presence if you possible to understand what sort of person they are!

Providing Facilities

There are some rules when it comes to renting a room. You need to consider that you will have to include a bathroom and access to your kitchen. Although you may not want to share your space with them, it is not as simple as letting them sleep on your spare bed.

If you’d like to make some extra cash but don’t have the space, you could always use the space in your garden to build somewhere. You can buy all the custom-made parts from Armstrong Steel and have them ship it to you. This way you can build a steel building for your new tenant and give them more space!

Advertising the Room

If you’re going to rent a room, make sure that you advertise it in a safe place. You don’t want your message to reach the wrong people and you also don’t want to be only getting responses from time wasters! Using a trusted website such as Easy Roommate to advertise your room will make sure that everything is using the right channel. You don’t even need to pay to list it here so take a look at our advice on listing rooms.

Set Rules

People who rent out their spare rooms often have issues with their tenants doing things that they don’t want them to. This is why it is important to set out some ground rules before the tenant moves in. If you don’t want them playing music at 1am or having people over, make sure to tell them before they sign anything. This way you can avoid any problems and be happy with your tenant.
Inform the Right People

If you own the house you live in, you cannot simply just rent out your room. It is important that you inform both your mortgage provider and your insurer just in case something happens. By doing this you will cover your tracks and ensure that everything goes to plan.

Summary

Overall, we think that is important that you make sure to consider everything when you are thinking about renting out a room in your home. Being a live-in landlord is different to one that is not present so make sure to do your research!

02 May 2018

The Do's and Don'ts of Good Landscaping Design

Creating a lovely yard requires more than a shovel and a few potted plants. It takes a lot of design, planning, and elbow grease - all in that order. Once you’re through with the design, you have to carefully plan how to implement it. However, in every stage, you must know what to do or not to do if you’re to succeed. Let’s look at some of the do’s and don’ts of proper landscaping.

Royalty Free Photo

Do Keep Some Grass

Are you tired of digging deep into your finances to maintain the lawn? Then replacing the grass with a deck or brick paving seems like a good idea. But as far as aesthetic appeal and feet-friendliness are concerned, having a fully-paved yard might not be such a bright idea. So how do you strike a compromise between cost and yard appeal? Simply mix the natural and artificial. By all means, install the paving, but also retain some grass.

Don’t Mix Landscaping Styles

About the styles to use, what’s the secret to effective landscaping? In one word, it’s “consistency.” When you pick a theme, stick to it from one end of the yard to the other. And as tempting as it might be, avoid throwing in any beautiful style that you see on your drive home. Doing so only turns your backyard into a cluttered, embarrassing mess.

Do Create a Centerpiece

Looking out over the yard, do you see any feature that draws your eye? Or, do you see only grass? Now picture the same yard with a small pond, elaborate fountain, or cozy fire pit. Even in your mind, you immediately notice the effect such a centerpiece would have. So, install one, but don’t go overboard. Remember, the idea is to create an affordable, eye-catching focal point, not an overly-fancy, expensive one.

Don’t Plant Non-Native Species

This can’t be repeated enough: Never install a plant that isn’t native to your climate or location, no matter how beautiful it is. But how much harm can it do, anyway? It can do a lot of harm, especially if you start with your pocket. For starters, plants that can’t adapt to the local climate soon wither, leaving you with another landscaping bill on your hands.

And just like weeds, they can turn invasive and spread uncontrollably from your yard and into the neighborhood. So how do you know which species are best suited to your location? You consult a professional, of course.

Do Consult a Professional

So, you have no clue about landscaping? Then know this: there’s no such thing as an accidental masterpiece in either landscaping or anywhere else for that matter. An appealing yard is always the result of detailed planning and extensive know-how, not of shifting things around hoping for the best. So instead of making a mess of things, consult landscaping teams like Architectural Landscape Design, and let them design the yard for you.

Don’t Plant Trees Close to the House

Despite being native to your area, trees have no place near your house. In fact, the farther away from the house you plant them, the better. And here’s why. During winter, snow-laden tree branches often break and fall onto your roof, costing you thousands of dollars in repair bills.

So how far from the house should you plant a tree? For short trees, make that no less than 20 feet. But for tall trees, the minimum distance increases to 50 feet.

As you landscape, remember to compromise between beauty and cost. Install stand out elements that catch the eye but without clashing with each other, damaging the environment, or destroying the house.

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