01 July 2020

How to Make Your Home More Secure for Your Family

You need to feel safe inside your home. Increase home security to ward off or deter anyone or anything from harming your family with a few practical ways.

Photo by Gwendal Cottin on Unsplash

Your home has a chance of being targeted by criminals at any given moment wherever you live in the US. According to the FBI, a burglary happens once every 26 seconds, which accumulates to over 3,300 burglaries every day. And if burglars aren’t your cause for worry, there are also trespassers, people who simply destroy property for the thrill of it, and other types of criminals that could harm you and your family in the comfort of your home.

When you’re at home with your family, you don’t want to worry about these threats every moment. But you might not be able to relax, bond with your partner and binge-watch Disney princess movies in order with your daughters or sons when you’re thinking about your home security every waking moment. In this case, it’s best to follow at least one of these three ways to beef up your home security for some peace of mind.

Invest in Strong Door Locks

The first line of defense for nearly all houses are the locks on your doors. Your front door is the easiest point of entry, so intruders will first try to see how easy it is to break in through the front door. If you move into a home that was previously occupied, replace the locks as soon as possible. Not only is it a risk that they could still have a key to your home, but the door and window locks may be old and worn.

Your deadbolt should be your first line of defense when guarding your door, according to security professionals. Do not buy cheap or discounted deadbolts, and instead choose heavy-duty locks that will make it difficult for intruders to kick in. If your door has glass panels around it, do not use a single-cylinder deadbolt as burglars can easily break the glass and reach the deadbolt latch. Instead, use a double-cylinder deadbolt as it will require a key. If possible, use at least 3-inch screws to install the strike plates as it can make your door more difficult to kick down.

Use Motion-Sensing Outdoor Lights

Photo by Marie Bellando-Mitjans on Unsplash

Whether you buy a home in Tucson or any city in Arizona, night time will always be a vulnerable time for your home. Plenty of intruders will try to use the cover of darkness to their advantage to scope your property, watch your movement, and break in. Your porch or backyard light can protect your doors. But your windows and the other outdoor parts of your home can be prone to intruders.

Motion-sensing outdoor lights offer a layer of security. Rather than having lights around your house open the entire night, motion sensor lights will only light up when something big enough (like a person) triggers the sensors. This can catch your attention or the attention of neighbors who may spot the intruder and contact authorities for you. 

Always Look Like There’s an Adult Home

Never give the appearance that no one’s home. Those looking to enter and take your property will use this to their advantage. You can do this in many ways: for starters, always park your car inside your garage as the presence (or absence) of your car on the street or driveway is a dead giveaway that someone’s home. Always leave at least one indoor light on and an outdoor light if no one will be present overnight. If possible, install smart tech in your home that can allow you to toggle the lights even from far away.

And no matter how responsible your younger children may be, never make it clear that they’re alone at home. Some children can be taught not to let strangers inside your home, but many children may not know what to do when intruders try the brute force method.

You may not need a high-end security system to protect your property and family. For most situations, an affordable and practical system works, giving you and your loved ones some peace of mind.

29 June 2020

5 Tips for Designing Your Dream Kitchen

If you're a fan of cooking shows like "Hell's Kitchen," "Chopped," or "Top Chef," you may find yourself dreaming of the day when you can renovate your kitchen. Designing a new kitchen comes with a lot of decisions to be made since at every step of the process you'll need to weigh the cost of each choice against aesthetics and functionality. These five tips will help you make the most of your budget and renovation, offering you the kitchen you've always wanted at a price you can afford.

Make sure you're ready—financially, that is


Before committing to any major home project, it's important to take a look at your finances to be certain that you have enough money to perform the work yourself or pay a contractor. Regardless of who's going to be performing the work, you'll want to make sure you've accounted for any potential surprises—if you've seen those reality shows where people flip houses only to discover mold, termites, or dry rot, you'll definitely know why. A good rule of thumb for budgeting for contract work is to add about 10 percent to their initial estimate, while a cushion of 20 or even 30 percent may be necessary if you're taking a DIY approach.

Once you've determined how much you'll need for your project, it's time to fill out your home loan application in order to refinance and tap into existing equity in your home. The application process will require you to provide proof of income as well as an overview of your existing loans and expenses. In order for your refinance loan to be approved as quickly as possible, be sure to stay current on all other credit card payments and other bills to illustrate your trustworthiness to your new lender.

Wow your visitors with perfect cabinetry


Perhaps the most important choice you'll make when designing your ideal kitchen comes down to the cabinet style you choose. Beyond storing dishware, glasses, and food, your kitchen cabinets have a vital role to play in the overall direction the design of your kitchen takes, too. From wall cabinets to cabinets underneath your countertop, the wood grain and finish of your cabinetry is similar to paint color in another room, as it takes up the most visual space in any kitchen.

Once you've settled on a finish and style of cabinet, you'll want to think about the different kinds of customizations that will really make using your kitchen each day a dream. For example, if you hate the sound of noisy cabinet doors shutting, soft-close hinges for doors and under-mount glides for drawers are definitely worth investing in. Another helpful feature is opting for an easy-to-clean material for the interior of your cabinets such as melamine. If you're worried about getting lost in the details, a company like Polaris Home Design can assist you in choosing the best features for your needs and budget.

Pick countertops for durability before looks


While everyone thinks that marble makes the best countertop style, it's always a good idea to look at other options, too. For example, quartz provides an equally-durable option and looks just as elegant, as do granite and travertine. If you're looking for an accent material for a wet bar or island that won't be used as often as other parts of your kitchen, onyx can provide a striking statement to any kitchen. Although it isn't as durable as some of your other options, for renovators who love a bit of flair it's a beautiful choice.

Invest in appliances that'll last


When upgrading items like your refrigerator, oven, or microwave, durability and style are both two important facets to consider. The last thing you want to have to do is repair or replace an oven every few years because you've chosen a bad brand. Some of the top brands to consider include LG, Whirlpool, Sub-Zero, Philips, and Samsung, among others. Marketwatch has broken down a variety of brands' strengths and weaknesses so that it's easy to do your own research based on what features and functionality you're looking at.

Don't forget your backsplash!


While your countertops, tile, and cabinetry provide the most color in any kitchen, that isn't to say you can't add a pop of color with a backsplash, too. Often, a backsplash can become another focal point in your kitchen, perhaps in a color that ties in with your colorful Le Creuset pots or pans or Fiestaware dishes. Beyond adding to your kitchen's style, a backsplash also protects your wall near the sink and oven, where water and other liquids may otherwise damage or stain the material.

24 June 2020

Options for Aging Parents: From ADUs to Assisted Living

As your parents age, they may need a little more help. This is always a delicate conversation, especially because some parents believe that if they're put in an assisted living facility you'll never visit them and will forget about them. Although it can be a sensitive subject, it's important to begin having a conversation about your parents' wishes and what you can afford as their child.

The sooner you can start talking about this topic, the better as it will help normalize the idea of them getting to a point where they may no longer be able to care for themselves independently of somebody else. Here are just a few of the solutions you may want to discuss as you look into different options for aging parents.


Are you or your parents willing to relocate?

One important factor to consider when chatting with your parents about the future is whether or not they're willing to relocate as they get older. If they are deadset on staying in the home they've raised you in, but are starting to need some help around the house, you may want to see about paying for a caregiver to come and check in every few days to help them out. That being said, if you or your parents are willing to relocate, there's a possibility that you could become that caregiver.

What should you know about assisted living facilities?

Although they get a bad rap, there are benefits of assisted living facilities. If you do your research and read up on reviews from current residents, you can avoid low-quality senior living facilities and find an assisted living facility that works well for your parents and other family members. This gives everyone peace of mind that your parents will have a level of independence even as you have the assurance that if they need help it will be close at hand.

Another benefit of moving your parents into an assisted living facility concerns specific medical conditions for older adults. Having nurses to keep track of medication or help your parents navigate any complications of their disease could be especially helpful as your parents get older. It's easy to find assisted living facilities in your parents' hometown or nearby other family members, too, whether you're looking for an assisted living facility in Boonton Township, NJ, Santa Fe, NM, or Louisville, KY.

Are you able to build an accessory dwelling unit?


If your parents are willing to move, it may be worth looking into building an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, in your backyard. Sometimes you can even convert your garage into an ADU, letting you keep the same square feet in your main house and yard while having a place for your parents to live that's much closer to you than a senior living community. Garage conversions require special permits, so it's crucial that you find an expert in building ADUs, such as Levi Construction if you're serious about having your parents move onto your property.

One of the major benefits of using companies like Levi Construction, who specialize in helping others build an ADU in Los Angeles, is that they can navigate any local laws and regulations about ADUs while still delivering an excellent building with great amenities. If your parents aren't quite convinced, a firm like Levi Construction can even draw up digital blueprints and 3D walkthroughs that let them imagine what their life could be like living on your property. Offering a wide range of options, from detached and attached ADUs to internal ADUs and garage conversions, you're sure to find what you need when using a professional builder.

22 June 2020

Choosing the Perfect Washing Machine Repair Technician

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A broken washing machine can lead to increased monthly costs as dry cleaning bills add up quickly.

Choosing the perfect washing machine repair technician may appear daunting at first, as countless types in all price points are readily available. However, this does not have to be a difficult process.

Highly professional and affordable washing machine technicians are available in all major North American cities.  Many offer other types of appliance repair as well.

Washing machine technicians are often available year round on weekdays and weekends, with extended business hours for emergencies.

Types of Washing Machines

Machine machines come in a variety of types.

  • Front Loading – Front loading washing machines are perfect for smaller areas, as a dryer can easily be stacked on top. In addition, front loading machines consume less water and energy than top loading machines.
  • Top Loading – Top loading washing machines most common and often less expensive to buy or repair. Their main benefit is ease of loading and unloading without having to crouch down.
  • Portable (Compact)– Portable washing machines can only do very small loads at a time. However, their small size makes them perfect for dorm rooms or small apartments. They are easily transported and often come with a handle.
  • Washer and Dryer Combo – Washer and dryer combos range from small and ultra-compact models to full size. Many of these combos are ventless, which means that they do not require an external venting connection to function. In addition, certain models are available with a variety of energy saving features, such as “delay start” and “sensor dry.”
  • Integrated – Integrated washing machines, which are often hidden behind cabinet doors, are space saving and aesthetically pleasing. The standard dimensions are approximately 825 x 595 x 540 mm (H x W x D) or approximately 32.5 x 23.5 x 21.3 in inches (H x W x D).

Other types of washing machines include heavy-duty washers and stackable units.

Washing Machine Problems 

Although durable, washing machines may inevitably begin experiencing problems over the years. Common issues include:

  • not turning on/no power
  • not draining 
  • leaking water
  • not finishing the cycle
  • making noise
  • starting to smell
  • not spinning
  • not dispensing detergent
  • shaking and moving
  • washer door is locked/will not lock
  • stuck on rinse/wash/spin
  • has communication errors
  • control panel not responding/broken
  • mould build up
  • lack of cold water
  • leaving soap in clothing

Often these problems are related to the motor, lid switch, lid plunger, timer knob, drain hose, fill hose, drain pump, water-inlet valve, door seal, switches and settings, belts, drive spindles, transmission mode levers, foreign objects, and incorrect detergent.

Cost of Washing Machine Repair

The cost of washing machine repair varies and depends on several factors. These include geographical location, with larger cities often more expensive than smaller towns, distance of location from technician, make and model of washing machine, faulty component, and type of problem. In particular, the rarer the type of broken part, the more expensive the repairs will be.

Average repair cost in the United States ranges from approximately$50 USD for minimal repairs to $350 USD. One’s bill can increase for $400 USD for complex problems, such as repairing the washing machine’s motor or transmission.

Basic top loading washing machines are often the least expensive to repair, while new high efficiency loader washing machines are most expensive. Certain brands of front loading machines also tend to leak more than others. In contrast, some brands of top loading washing machines have problems with spinning.

A machine with a motor that stops working can cost approximately $95 to $250 USD.

If the motor is running with no agitation, the cost can be approximately $95 to $145 USD, while water leaks and problems with drainage can be approximately $120 to $225 USD.

A washing machine that vibrates will cost approximately $65 to $185 USD.
In Canada, rates are similar. Costs range from $50 to approximately$350 CAD. These costs often include labour, diagnosis, and replacement parts.

Choosing a Washing Machine Repair Technician

Business review sites are a great way to start searching for the perfect machine repair technician. Examples include Yelp and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which offer customers ratings of various technicians in all major North American cities.

Another way to find a great washing machine repair technician is to ask friends, coworkers, and neighbours for recommendations.

In addition, customers are encouraged to look at company websites and compare brands, types, and prices. Many of these website also offer customer testimonials as well.



19 June 2020

Ways to Bring Luxurious Travel to Your Home

Photo by Anna Demianenko on Unsplash

It is hard for most people to deny a luxurious vacation, whether it is to a beach in Aruba or a ski lodge in Switzerland. However, living in 2020, it is hard to know if these luxurious vacations will be able to be achieved with the infamous COVID-19 virus and travel restrictions guarding everyone away from the vacation of their dreams.

Even if travel restrictions get lifted in time to go on vacation, a luxurious vacation is not always the easiest thing to afford. If you are unable to go on a luxurious vacation but still want to experience one, the following are plenty of ways you bring a luxurious vacation right to your home.

Get a Bed That Fits the Part

One of the best parts of going on a luxurious vacation is the feeling of sleeping in the beds that feel like a cloud. If you do not want to miss out on this part of a luxurious vacation, get a mattress that provides the best support for you to be able to sleep like a baby. You will want to be able to sleep long hours and wake up feeling refreshed, so do not be afraid to invest a little in this part.

Once you have your dream bed, if you really want the full hotel resort experience, get white silk sheets to put on your bed. You can even go the extra mile and order white silk robes to wear, just like the one's hotels provide for you. If your room fits the luxurious travel feeling, it will make your staycation experience infinitely better.

Plan Out Fancy Meals

Photo by Martin Castro on Unsplash

Another major perk of going on vacation, whether the vacation is fancy or not, is the ability to try new food in new places. If you are a foodie and thrive on traveling for food, do not fear, because you can quickly bring new food right to your home. If you find yourself talented in the kitchen, plan out new recipes to try ahead of time and stock up on ingredients before you start your staycation.

A trip to your local grocery store is not always the most luxurious experience, so try to get everything you need before in order to avoid ruining the feeling of your fancy staycation. If you are not as food-savvy, you can utilize websites that send you every ingredient you need in recipes you handpick, or you can try new restaurants in your town that you have never gone to.

Photo by Thomas Rehehäuser on Unsplash

Let People Help You Out

Going on vacations in resorts is a stress-free area, and not having to clean your own room probably helps relieve that stress. If you are too worried about vacuuming every day and cleaning every surface three times a week, you might have a harder time relaxing on your staycation. Before the week starts, you can personally deep clean the house or hire a local housekeeping service to clean your home while you finish things up at work.

Having someone else do it for you often relieves a lot of stress, and you will most likely be able to go longer without going crazy about cleaning if you know your house was just professionally cleaned. You can also hire a landscaping company to professionally cut your grass and get rid of weeds outside to make you feel happy about how your home looks while you are trying to get the most out of your staycation.

Explore Your Town

Adding on to the list of vacation perks is the ability to explore a new town. If you are staying at home, you might be sad that you will not be able to roam a new city; however, you might be surprised at what you can find in your own hometown. Walk around as you have never seen the streets in your life, and take a chance on those stores you have never stepped into. This part is all about your attitude, and if you want to reach your adventurous side, let yourself explore new parts of town.

You can also go to a new park, go on a hike on a new trail, or ask friends and family what their favorite thing to do is. There are always plenty of new things and activities to try; you might just need a little luxurious staycation to find these things.

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Forget About Work and School

Along with worrying about having a clean house, work and school are more things that only cause you to worry more. If you want the full vacation experience at home, take time off work, school, and other daily responsibilities you would have to leave behind if you were leaving the area. You can respond to emails and calls if you have to, but do not let work take over your life when you are supposed to be on "vacation." Turn off the computer and allow yourself to take a step away from working consistently.

This can also allow you to feel refreshed when you inevitably have to go back to your normal daily life, as you were able to have a quick break from it. You should also be able to quit worrying about time and let yourself completely relax. If you are caught up in your head, you will not be able to feel that luxurious vacation feeling.

How to Create a Light and Bright Kitchen in Your Home

The kitchen is, for many families and households, the heart of the home. In many dwellings the kitchen doubles as a dining space. That means it's not only the area where you prepare life-sustaining meals, but it's also the area wherein you entertain, catch up with family, and break bread. Thus, it's important that you invest in your kitchen and make it a light, bright, friendly space for you and everyone else in your household to enjoy. If you want to know how to remodel your kitchen to make it light and bright, keep reading for some great tips.

Consult the professionals to lay out the basics of your kitchen.


via GIPHY

If you really want to remodel your kitchen the right way, you should consult the advice of a professional in the kitchen design field. Looking up those who specialize in kitchen remodeling in Denver will help you find someone local who will be just as invested in your new kitchen as you are. A Denver kitchen remodeling team will not only bring professionalism in the world of kitchen design and interior design but they will also understand the unique needs of those who live in the Mile High City with regards to altitude. The kitchen remodeling team will also understand exactly how to design your kitchen in a way that suits you, so you know you won't just be choosing a one-size-fits-all sample kitchen off a showroom floor.

Choose finishes that will lighten up your kitchen space.

Even if you yourself are not an interior designer, you can work with your chosen contractors to select kitchen cabinets that are in a color that will lighten up your whole space, such as a light pine or birch, or even a wood treated with a white finish. The contractors will also walk you through choosing a countertop finish that will give your kitchen renovation a bright, sleek feel. Choose finishes that will reflect the natural daylight in your kitchen, or even consider adding a mirror or two to create even more of that reflection. You can even break up a dark wood floor with a brightly-colored kitchen island that doubles as additional prep space or an area for a small group to dine together.

Use natural light to your advantage.

via GIPHY

Throughout your kitchen, taking advantage of your existing natural light will help make your kitchen into your dream kitchen. Sunlight is the kind of light that is actually incredibly important to your mental health and can help aid seasonal affective disorder. In addition to the health benefits, sunlight will make the entirety of your kitchen look larger and brighter, and thus, more welcoming for both you and your guests. Even if you only have one window, you can complement the natural light with mirrors and with sheer or no curtains that allow the maximum amount of light into your kitchen remodel project.

Make sure key areas are well-lit.

Sunlight and light, in general, is incredibly important in the kitchen, not only because it helps your kitchen appear lighter and larger, but also because it helps illuminate key areas in your kitchen for safety. If you have children or live with someone with a disability, this is especially important, as there are sharp knives, hot stoves, and dangerous kitchen appliances that can be harmful if not handled in daylight or under fluorescent lights. To aid this issue, make sure you install full spectrum lighting in your kitchen, paying special attention to install lamps under cabinetry where one may handle knives and above the stove where heat elements can rise to dangerously high temperatures.

Historic Brick Exteriors: To Paint Or Not to Paint

Photo by Georgy Rudakov on Unsplash

The paint job of a historic home is one of the key components that characterize the elegant antiquity of the residence. The painting of brick exteriors is even more unique, as brick has a particular charm when it comes to home design. Whether you are aiming to renovate your home to achieve a specific aesthetic or to simply add another layer of protection to the bricks encompassing your house, you might consider a new coat of paint.

The wear and tear due to constant exposure to elements, such as heavy rain, may cause the brick exterior to appear worn and damaged, even early on its lifespan. (This might be something you, as a homeowner in Boston, are familiar with.) Painting the brick may be one of the first options you consider to resolve this matter; however, there are many factors to take into account. To assist you in deciding whether you should paint the brick exterior of your home, here are a few points to consider, and the possible benefits and disadvantages of each.

What to Consider Before You Decide to Paint Brick

First, understand that brick is often chosen as a building material due to its natural, beautiful coloring and its exceptional durability. Generally, brick is not a material that is intended to be painted. However, if you decide to go this route, you should know that caring for the painted surface requires a long-term, detailed maintenance plan. The Brick Industry Association suggests replacing paint on brick exteriors every 3-5-years.

The quality of your brick exterior should directly influence your decision to paint it as well. For example, brick that is suffering from chipping, molding, or is otherwise deteriorating should not be considered for painting. Instead, surfaces in this condition should be repaired or otherwise cared for before painting ever becomes an option.

You must also understand how the paint will affect the physical and structural integrity of the brick exterior. When you add a coat of paint onto exterior brick, the pores become filled and blocked, which can exacerbate existing issues with the brick. This is a big problem because it forces water to seep into the mortar, and from there, into the brick. With much of the surface area blocked off due to the paint layer, the moisture is then trapped, unable to evaporate from the brick. This holding of moisture is normally what leads to the paint chipping off.

Lastly, consider the effort it will take to remove the paint from the brick if you ever decide that you no longer wish to maintain that aesthetic. Removing paint from brick is a painstaking task, one that requires several hours, or even days, to complete. You cannot merely sandblast or power-wash the surface. Instead, it would be best if you used a paint-stripping solution. Removing paint from brick must only be done with expert help to avoid damaging the brick’s surface with the chemicals comprising the solution. 

Disadvantages of Painting the Brick Exterior of Your Home

Truthfully, there are not many disadvantages to painting the brick exterior of your home. The disadvantages primarily concern the requirement of more frequent quality checks for your home, not necessarily a significantly increased workload as far as home maintenance.  Keep these things in mind as you consider painting your brick exterior:

  • You cannot go back to a bare brick exterior. Once you have committed to painting brick, there is no going back. The moment you apply a new coat of paint on a brick exterior, you must always replenish that paint for the remainder of the home’s lifetime to maintain the structural integrity and quality of the brick. 
  • You will need to clean the exterior of your home more often. This is a double-edged sword because painted brick is easier to clean. However, dirt and other buildup show up much more clearly. This may mean you have to clean more often, so your home does not become covered in dirt, debris, and mildew over time. 

That said, you can always find a high-quality, affordable company to take care of maintaining your painted brick surfaces.

The Advantages of Painting Your Home’s Brick Exterior

Though there are a few minor drawbacks to painting the brick exterior of your home, the benefits far outweigh any potential negative consequences. For some, painting a home’s exterior is one way of customizing the building and owning its aesthetic. This is especially important in historic homes since you must maintain its integrity over time without allowing the exterior to become dull and drab.
When you decide to paint your brick exterior, the benefits include:

  • The exterior will be better protected from the elements. As long as you maintain a regular maintenance schedule that includes the replacement of aging coats of paint and regular cleaning, a coat of paint will improve its resistance to the elements. This is because it acts as a sealant, defending against the effects of seasonal changes. 
  • Your home’s curb appeal will be significantly improved. Whether you intend for your home to be yours forever, or you eventually wish to sell it, the curb appeal and value of your home can be enhanced by adding a layer of paint. (This is especially true for dark colors such as slate gray, or sharp, modern colors like white.)

Once you decide to move forward with painting the brick exterior of your historic home, the best option for exterior house painting in Boston is Catchlight Painting. Whether you need a new coat added, or an old coat stripped for renovation, you can depend on Catchlight’s 25+ years of experience restoring and painting many of the Boston area’s historic homes.

14 June 2020

Why Choose White Shaker Cabinets for Your Kitchen?

The Shakers were well-known for their outstanding woodworking skills, craftsmanship, and simple yet attractive design. Shaker cabinets, modeled after these early masterpieces, remain very popular today. The style is timeless and works with many different kitchen configurations and schemes. White shaker cabinets, specifically, are one of the most versatile choices on the market.

Why Shaker Cabinets? The Shakers believed in simplicity in life, devotion, and a strong work ethic, and relayed this through their design. High-quality Shaker cabinets today stay true to this original vision. These cabinets transcend trends. They have survived the test of time, satisfying both fans of modern kitchens, as well as those of a more classic style. Sleek lines and basic trims complement today’s cutting-edge kitchens. High-tech appliances, avant-garde artwork, and modern, eccentric accents mesh well with Shaker cabinets. With a clean slate to work with, customers can add stylish futuristic touches to their kitchens while still retaining that solid Shaker look.


Another benefit to these cabinets is they are generally more affordable than many other styles of cabinetry. As a result, you can funnel those savings into other areas of kitchen updates or redesign. You can put together the kitchen of your dreams at a lower price without sacrificing quality.

Shaker cabinets consist of clean lines and geometric trim. This design can help to add to the visual effect of height and depth in the kitchen, as long lines create a sense of extended space. The simple appearance and style of Shaker cabinets fit well with any combination of counters, appliances, and accents. Additionally, you can experiment with different grains, materials, and handles: all while maintaining the proven foundation of the Shaker look.

Why Go With White Cabinets? White is the most popular color for kitchen cabinets, and for good reason. Many modern kitchens are open and airy, and color choice can enhance, or diminish, this appearance. White cabinetry contributes to a spacious feel. It gives a clean, fresh look, and provides a neutral backdrop for any creative aspirations you have in mind. Simple kitchens are stylish, and white cabinets can help you achieve that goal.

White cabinets can also make a kitchen brighter and lighter while providing the illusion of space and roominess. As cabinets last a long time, they will continue to complement any appliances – no matter the color or style – that you buy in the future.

White Shaker Cabinets: Your Best Choice The combination of the exceptional quality of materials and design found in Shaker cabinets with the color white will prove to be a winner. Timeless and versatile, these cabinets will subtly bring your kitchen to life. If you are looking for cabinetry that will stand the test of time, as well as fads in kitchen design, white Shaker cabinets are a trusted option. When people are on the lookout for specific cabinets, many will want a style that is sleek, attractive, functional, and sturdy. White Shaker kitchen cabinets check all of these boxes, and will for years to come.

5 Steps to Prevent Storm Damage to Your Home

With summer on the horizon, your thoughts may be drawn to having time off work, enjoying the sunshine or maybe going on a vacation, however, with summer thunderstorms to take into account, it’s crucial that you do everything you can to ensure your home is safe and protected.

Image by Sergio Cerrato from Pixabay 

Heavy rains and strong winds can cause extensive damage to your property, so here are five steps to prevent storm damage to your home and outsmart Mother Nature.

Inspect the Foundation

If you notice any cracks or gaps in the foundation of your property, this increases the chance of water seeping into your home during severe weather. No one wants to deal with major water damage, so repairing any cracks you spot or calling a professional to help is key. Also, make sure that your doors and windows are sealed, as they are other areas of the home where water could sneak in.

Clean Your Gutters

While cleaning your downspouts and gutters may not be the most exciting task, soggy leaves and dirt can accumulate and cause havoc to your home should a storm strike. This is because they can stop water from running off your roof during severe weather. If water starts to build up, it may settle around your roof, which can cause extensive water damage to your property. Cleaning and repairing your gutters should be at the top of your list to keep your home safe and secure from a storm.

Check Your Back Yard

For preventing storm maintenance, one of the best things you can do is to inspect your back yard for diseased or dead trees. When severe weather strikes, trees that are diseased, hollowed or dead may not be able to stand up against strong winds. The last thing you want is for a tree to fall and crash into your home, so while most home insurance policies cover falling trees, it’s advisable to get rid of unsafe trees so no one is put in danger.

Inspect Your Roof

Your roof needs to be maintained and inspected at least once a year. Keeping a close eye on the condition of your roof will help you identify any issues before they turn into major problems. Keeping your roof in good condition can also save you money on your home insurance. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling your roof alone, it’s best to hire a professional.

Watch the Weather

Many homeowners make the mistake of failing to act before severe weather strikes. So you can be confident that you’ve taken the correct precautionary measures, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast. If a storm is heading your way, try and find out how your community reacts to weather emergencies and follow suit.

Create a Checklist

After a storm has hit your area, your first step should be to inspect your home for damage. Creating a damage checklist and going around the interior and exterior of your property will help you identify what action needs to be taken.

If a storm is predicted, it’s important that you take all the precautionary measures listed above to reduce the risk of damage to your property.

22 May 2020

Your New-and-Improved Home Essentials Checklist


Now that most people have been spending a lot more time at home due to COVID-19, there are probably a few things you’ve noticed in your house that you’d love to improve. Life is usually such a whirlwind, so it’s easy to let inconveniences go unnoticed—especially if it’s how you’ve done it for years and years. If you haven’t really touched anything in your home since the early 2000s, you’re missing out on some incredible technology that would not only make your home look incredible, but make your life easier. Now that you're home more often, take note of everything you’d like to get done and follow along with this checklist of essentials that will make your home feel new and improved.


Keeping all of your memories in one place

The first step in improving your home is preserving your memories. Although there is something to be said about going through old photo albums, you run the risk of damaging a really special memory every time you turn a page, depending on the age of the photos. Not to mention all of the new memories you and your family are creating every day. Whether it’s pictures of the grand kids or your vacation from last summer, all of these images end up on different phones and social media platforms, making it difficult to keep track of them on your own.

Now you can actually keep everything in one convenient place with Meet ibi. This device acts as a personal cloud that can store over 250,000 photos or over 100 hours of video. Also, there’s not a monthly subscription fee, like so many other photo services, so you’ll be saving money. It’s also very simple to set up. All you need to do is plug in your ibi and download the app, and it will guide you easily through the rest of the setup. From there, select which devices and social media accounts you’d like ibi to collect from and choose your “inner circle” to privately share content with. Take photos of your old albums and then upload them to your cloud. You’ll be able to share old photos that people have never seen or maybe forgot were ever taken.


Living in a fairytale

Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to your very own fairytale every day, or at the very least be able to park your car in a beautiful garage? Garages aren’t exactly the most visually appealing part of any house, so improving that area should definitely be on your checklist. Make your garage go from drab to fab by searching for custom wood garage doors. RW Garage Doors has dedicated its whole company towards building superior quality carriage house garage doors. They handpick every piece of wood and fully inspect their materials before using them in their projects. Your neighbors are certain to be jealous of the premium build.

Making a splash with backsplash

The kitchen is where people gather and put a lot of love in the dishes they create. It’s a cornerstone of family gatherings. That being said, the kitchen is the first place to get a little messy when there’s a lot of activity going on in the house. Upgrading the design of this space will not only make it look great, but make things run more smoothly. You'll find backsplash in almost every new kitchen right now. It’s a beautiful, tiled accent that makes your eating space look almost like a restaurant. Since it’s tile, any pasta sauce that bubbles out can easily be wiped away without leaving a trace of a stain. It's functional and beautiful.

Asbestos testing kits --Do I need one?

Photo by Tneil Abt on Unsplash
It is no secret about the potential danger that could be lurking in your home. Asbestos is, luckily, no longer used in construction. However, many people wrongly assume that when those regulations changed, they no longer had to worry about asbestos.

Unfortunately, there are many homes that still have asbestos. Knowing the dangers of asbestos, often leads to the question - do I need an asbestos testing kit? It might seem like an unnecessary item. But if your home was built more than 10 years ago, you might consider it a requirement.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is actually a blanket term that covers 6 different substances that are naturally occurring. They are resistant to electricity and fire. Which is why it was so popular for such a long time. Asbestos was ideal where fire retardation was essential. As asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre, they are plentiful which was ideal for the construction trade.

Not only that, but they could be moulded and woven into a range of different items and materials. It is estimated that asbestos has been used for somewhere in the region of 4,500 years, and it wasn’t until 1960 and beyond the links between asbestos and a range of diseases and illnesses were accepted.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Mesothelioma. Asbestos causes a rare and deadly cancer that develops in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is what protects your internal organs.

When breathing in the small airborne particles of asbestos, it will almost always result in cancer, and it is almost always deadly.

Asbestos has also been linked to a lung cancer disorder called asbestosis. This rare disorder attacks the respiratory system by forming scar tissue on the lungs and the surface of the lung’s lining, making it difficult to breathe. This may or may not be a precursor to mesothelioma. This is why an asbestos testing kit is essential for any home that isn’t a new build, that was erected in the last 15-20 years.

When You Need And Asbestos Testing Kit

Asbestos was used in many building materials for a long time. It was included in textures for ceilings and walls, and in insulation. When the regulations about asbestos being used in the building industry came into force, it was no longer used for new homes. However, that means there are thousands of homes that will have asbestos. In general, it will remain dormant until it is disturbed, but as soon as home renovations start taking place, exposure happens. Tiny airborne particles are released and can lead to a range of health issues. These include respiratory disorders and lung cancer.

So if your home is a certain age, then it is best for you to make sure you have an asbestos testing kit available. This will mean you can have the safest possible environment to complete your home renovations.
Where Can I Find Asbestos?
Within the construction industry, you will find asbestos-containing material in some of the following areas:

  • Insulation
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Pipe insulation
  • Vinyl tiles
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Asbestos tiles
  • Some plastics

Many homeowners aren’t aware of the number of products in their homes that could potentially have some level of asbestos. Which is any asbestos testing kits are essential for most homeowners. Unfortunately, it isn’t until a homeowner decides to undertake some renovations when the asbestos is found. 

What Happens In An Asbestos Test?

An asbestos kit only has one use. To detect any level of asbestos within your home. Typically a kit will include a sample bag for each type of material that you would like tested. After you have carefully collected all of the materials and paid a fee, all of the materials will be tested within a lab.

Once you receive the results of your asbestos testing kit, if positive for asbestos, you will need to hire a company specializing in removing asbestos. They will be able to come and clear your home of all traces of asbestos. The cost associated with an asbestos testing kit is minuscule compared to the potential medical bills and deadly impact of leaving your home unchecked. There are occasions where a test might come back as inconclusive, and in this case, it is prudent to continue as if it was positive and use a professional service to take care of it.

A key thing to remember is that a professional company will ensure that your home is totally safe and use a filter to clean the air. You mustn’t attempt to remove any asbestos yourself when you get the results. In summary, if you have a house that is over 15-20 years old, it is wise to invest in an asbestos testing kit.






18 May 2020

Things to Do Before You Begin to Move Home

Moving home can be one of the most stressful events you can experience in your life. It is up there with the birth of a new child, sitting an important final exam, or making an important presentation.

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If you are moving home soon or thinking about it, then there are definitely some things you should know and tips you can use before the big day arrives. With a little bit of preparation and planning, you can take a lot of the stress out of the day, and maybe even enjoy it a little.

Plan Your Change of Address

Once you move, you need all your bills and important mail to follow you there, unfortunately. You should register your move with the postal service to get your mail re-directed, but you should also inform important third parties like your bank, insurance agent, and utility bill companies about the move yourself to make sure there is no delay in communication that can cause you problems later on.

Plan Your Packing, and Make Enough Time for It

Packing up all the contents of your old home is a big job, and without the right approach, you can cause yourself all kinds of unpacking problems in your new home, and potentially lose important boxes and items in the move.

Have a look online about what to do before you start packing, and plan out the best way to pack and unpack everything. You’re going to need plenty of labels and boxes, and you will need to have everything ready on the big day. If you are still packing when you should be moving, you are going to lose time and maybe some possessions.

Make an Announcement on Social Media or Family Group chats

Not only do you need to keep the bank and utility companies up to date on your change of address, but you need to tell your friends and family too.

If you don’t mind showing off a little, you could make a post on Facebook or Instagram to let people know you are moving home, and maybe include some pictures of your new property. Be careful about disclosing your new address in full online though. If you want it to be a part of your post make sure you choose the right privacy setting so only close friends and family have access to that information.

Group chats on apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are a safer place to share your address with trusted friends and family and give you more control over the information.

Plan Some Childcare for the Big Day

If you are moving with children, despite their best efforts to help, they are going to cause extra stress on the day and can easily injure themselves with so many heavy boxes and furniture moving between properties.

Try and organize some childcare for the full day and evening with family or close friends. This frees you up to concentrate on the move, and you can bring them to their new home when the move is finished, and they can start unpacking their possessions and move into their new bedrooms.

Moving home can be less stressful than you think with enough planning and some preparation. Make sure these tips are on your to-do list, and you will take a lot of the stress from your house move.


17 April 2020

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Brings Tranquility with Newest Collection


Back in July of 2009, I was a kitchen and bath designer in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was also a newbie blogger at a time when nobody really knew what a design blog was. I was working on a renovation project and I had to specify some wood floors. Wood floors aren’t very common in Florida, and my client at the time was looking for something out of the ordinary.

I found Carlisle Wide Plank Floors through a combination of a Google search and a recommendation from a colleague from New York. Carlisle Wide Plank Floors was an absolute joy to work with as a supplier and, as a bonus, they were the first real brand who took me seriously as a blogger and who allowed me to use their image library.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when bloggers had to beg for content, but Carlisle Wide Plank Floors was different. They saw the potential in this new medium and were only too glad to help. I have always had a great deal of admiration and respect (my feelings toward them border on affection, to be honest) for Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Fast forward 11 years and here I sit on the other side of the country from that long-ago project in Florida. Due to an unfortunately placed and now damaged waste line that has to be fixed, Frank and I have to replace the wood floors in the first floor of our home this year. Thanks to my great first-hand experience with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, guess whose floors are going into our home?

I’d already selected the finish for our project, but I may have to rethink my decision because Carlisle Wide Plank Floors just unveiled their new Tranquil Collection. This new collection was created to meet the growing demand for smooth face flooring in a low matte, layered finish in warmer tones. Honestly, check out the finishes in this collection. I am over the moon for Eden.


Originally, I selected Hideaway from their Retreat Collection because it worked so well with the other floor finishes we have in the house, but as soon as I saw Eden, it felt as if the decision had been made for me.


Anyhow, the Tranquil Collection is available in eight-inch wide Signature Grade planks, each carefully hand selected by Carlisle artisans. The collection includes six gorgeous colors: Eden, Haven, Harbor, Oasis, Preserve and Sanctuary. Those finishes range from a subtly weathered taupe to a deep warm gray to a richly saturated brown, and all of the collection’s inviting hues whisper a feeling of comfort and calm. The organic character of the timber is maintained, instilling a sense of elegance and an instinctual connection with nature.

Most wood flooring products with layered color use a hard wax oil to create the finish, requiring both daily maintenance and periodic re-oiling to prevent the finish from drying out over time. Carlisle’s Tranquil Collection utilizes a UV-cured oil that doesn’t require specialty cleaning products or frequent reapplications of finish.


The Tranquil Collection comes in ¾” plank thickness and in two- to 12-foot lengths, with a choice of engineered or solid construction. Planks are end matched for ease of installation. The collection can be ordered through Carlisle showrooms and design consultants.

In all candor and with all hyperbole aside, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors are an industry leader for a reason. No one else in their industry approaches wood floors with the level of thought and precision these guys do. If you’re looking for wood floors, start your search with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.


13 April 2020

Back in (Matte) Black


In early February of this year, the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas was a showcase of trends and new products put on by an industry buoyed by the outlook that 2020 was going to be a banner year by all counts. Well, nobody could have seen what was coming and continues to unfold today. Despite what feels like a global pause, builders are still building and designers are still designing.

Construction and renovation lead the way to revitalized economies, and there can be no doubt that these industries will become even more important as the global economy comes roaring back to life in the coming months.

Some of what we were seeing at IBS a few months ago is still very much relevant, and an overriding color trend that will continue to grow in popularity is the generous use of matte back in the home. While black has always had an allure and a sophistication, designers tended not to use it as a focus in home decor. However, the availability of matte black as opposed to more glossy finishes is opening a door to integrating more black into interior spaces. Matte black is subtle and luxurious at the same time. It invites touch but – unlike a lot of shinier finishes – it’s easy to live with and keep looking clean.

Two real standouts when it comes to matte black offerings are appliances from Elmira Stove Works and heated towel racks from Amba.


Elmira Stove Works’ retro-inspired Northstar refrigerators in textured black take what’s already a statement-making appliance and ratchet up the cool factor even further. Even more amazing, you can order your Northstar fridge with a factory-installed BrewMaster draft system that includes a through-the-door tap dispenser, coupler, connections, CO2 cylinder, retro-flame splash plate and drip tray. Add a keg of your favorite brew, pull the tap, sit back and chill. And, of course, the keg and fittings can be removed to utilize full fridge functionality.

In addition to fridges, Elmira also offers its ranges, dishwasher and microwave in textured black. These high-performance cooking appliances include sleek chrome accents and classic retro styling for a nostalgic look with modern functionality.



Wildly popular in Europe and now catching on in North America, heated towel racks are a great addition to any bath renovation you’re considering. An Amba heated towel rack isn’t just luxury for the sake of luxury, however. Heated towel racks not only do an amazing job of warming up drafty winter bathrooms and, drying damp towels and clothes, but they can also prevent mildew growth.

A pre-warmed towel and bathrobe can take the edge off of a chilly morning – that’s a given. Beyond that, the sculptural beauty of an Amba heated towel rack can become a bathroom design focal point. The fact that Amba offers their towel racks in a matte black finish makes them a bit of attainable luxury that’s on trend.


Appliances from Elmira Stove Works and Amba Heated Towel Racks stand ready to help you make your design visions a reality as we pick and move toward a “new” 2020.




09 April 2020

Choosing Appliances for Your Home: Décor, Priorities and More

Whether you have just bought a home, or you’ve finally got around to starting the kitchen renovation project that you’ve been putting off for a while, choosing appliances with care is crucial. Décor is certainly a factor, and we are going to discuss it, but it shouldn’t be the only, or even the first, thing you consider about a home appliance.

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What Do You Need?

This is one of the most underrated questions of all time in this department, because people often start looking with a vague idea, rather than a definite one. Don’t make that mistake; list down the following first:

  • Which appliances do you need? Not every home really needs a dishwasher, for example.
  • Decide on the size/capacity of each appliance, as would be appropriate for your home’s needs.
  • Some features are gimmicks, while others are quite helpful. Do your research to determine which are essential.

By the time you have this list, you will be able to save money and select the best appliance for each category.

Prioritize the Essentials

You can perhaps do without a microwave, but having a water filtration system is critical to everyone’s health at home. Visit the Discount Filter Store and check out the excellent whole house water filtration systems they have from international names such as Tier1 and Culligan. Safe drinking water in all rooms, at all times, is a must for big houses, but they also have smaller portable water filters for the kitchen that are ideal for small apartments.

Consider the Climatic Conditions

Speaking of essential appliances, don’t forget about the HVAC system. Decide on the model only after taking into account the climatic conditions first. A house in Fort Myers is going to need a lot of cooling, for example, while one in Aberdeen is going to need a large heat capacity. The more climate appropriate your heating and cooling solution turns out to be, the more you will save on energy bills. Also, you may want to look for a HVAC model that comes with a smart thermostat to further shrink the bills without affecting indoor comfort.

Décor is Easier to Manage than You Think

Try to buy only the most essential and necessary appliances for your new/newly decorated home first, before expanding from there on, following the as-needed rule. This strategy can do wonders for your internal décor because the less appliances you have, the less you will need to worry about them fitting in with the décor. Below are some décor tips to keep in mind:

  • Concealed ovens and washers come in all sizes and they disappear without a trace when not in use
  • If you feel that the fridge won’t look good as a standalone, opt for an integrated solution during the renovation

Keep a minimalist approach with a focus on the essential appliances first, and you’re all set. You may still need to repaint a wall or add new tiles if you cannot find space for concealment, but that can actually work in your room’s favor.

26 March 2020

Give the Earth a place in your home


Nothing feels better than dressing with the season or decorating your home to accommodate the change in weather and daylight hours. Not only does wood signify the change of seasons, but if you use it for your flooring, it can signify a change in mood or atmosphere. If this is what you want then there is no better way than with luxury vinyl wooden flooring. Here’s why…

Embrace your dark side

Wooden flooring gives you the ability to make a house a home, with luscious dark and golden tones, you can add ambiance and warmth without having to light a single candle. Dark shades can be accessorized to match any season. Surround yourself with faux fur rugs and potpourri for the perfect winter setting.

Lighten up your day

If your home is hectic and you feel the need to introduce an element of calm, look on the bright side with light wooden flooring. Light beige, golden and even white flooring can all add an element of zen to a room. Expand natural elements with exotic plants and wicker baskets to enhance the earthy tone.

Wood is all-round wonderful

Knowing that the flooring you choose will remain in your home for the foreseeable future adds pressure making the right decision. This is why natural woods are currently on-trend and is here to stay. All wooden-based flooring can be accentuated, and the design patterns are endless. Wood gives your furnishings a neutral backdrop, making them pop!

Less is more

If you’re choosing a patterned flooring style such as Herringbone or Parquet, then it would be wise to choose a painted wall. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a bold colour. Try light golden oak wood strips with a burgundy matte paint for a contrasting theme. This works well with dark wood furnishings, woolly blankets and pendant lighting.

The perfect Luxury Vinyl flooring is waiting for you


Choices are all around you but knowing where to start looking can be the hard part. Amtico offers quality luxury vinyl flooring, with Décor, Signature and Click Smart ranges, both fitting and designing your look is hassle-free. For a design with more grandeur and detail, Luvanto Click and Herringbone will have you designing in your dreams.

07 March 2020

6 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home in 2020

Your home is likely the most valuable asset in your possession. It’s where you eat, sleep, relax, and spend quality time with loved ones. For most people, that alone is enough reason to continue investing in value-adding changes and improvements, be it a fresh coat of paint, some additional furniture or a full-fledged remodel.

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But investing in your home doesn’t just make it a more pleasant place to live. It also makes a reliable contribution to your long-term financial wellbeing. History has proven that real estate is a wise investment. It’s more dependable and lucrative than stocks, as well as offering a range of tax benefits.

Make the right improvements and you’ll reap the rewards come the day you decide to sell. Read on to discover six tried-and-tested ways to increase the value of your home in 2020.

Landscaping

Attractive, low-maintenance gardens are a major selling point. This is especially true for the front yard, as buyers value properties with high curb appeal. Tidying up your exterior can make a world of a difference. An affordable and reputable landscaping company such as ALD, Inc can work with you to make the right improvements.

Energy Efficiency

There are many reasons to identify how you can use less power. The most immediate benefit is a lower utility bill. Additionally, you can leverage an energy-efficient mortgage to reduce your rates. The value of your property will also increase, especially if it’s located in a particularly hot or cold region.
Start by switching out old light bulbs for LED units. Double-paned windows and enhanced insulation are also great investments. A programmable thermostat will significantly reduce heating and cooling expenses. While pricey upfront, solar panels are a reliable value-booster. A free energy audit can help you find more solutions.

Visual Space

Increasing physical square footage is usually a costly endeavor. Instead, increase the visual space in your home by making a few clever adjustments. This includes adding mirrors, reducing clutter, and replacing heavy draperies with vertical blinds or shutters. You can also install a few shelving units to clean up and organize busy spaces.

Air Quality

An often-overlooked factor, improving the air quality of your home can make a noticeable difference to its value. The best way to do this is by replacing carpeted floors with tiles or laminate, thus reducing the presence of allergens and contaminants. Hard surfaces are also more visually appealing and easier to maintain.

Ceilings

For added value and architectural interest, consider refreshing your ceilings. This can include removing popcorn ceilings, installing faux beams, adding a new coat of paint, and using beadboard panels to cover unattractive areas.

Bathroom Improvements

Upgrading your bathroom is always a smart move. You can anchor a towel bar, pick up a frameless shower door, retile the floor, replace old wallpaper, prop up a cabinet or install a ventilation fan. Anything that cleans up and modernizes your bathroom is bound to make a difference.

Conclusion

The possibilities are endless here. Take a look around your home and see where you can make an improvement.

07 February 2020

Neat Interior Life Hacks - How to Avoid Mess

Image by Photographee.eu
I’m pretty sure most of us wonder why everything looks so beautiful in the photo from the net. But when you look around - it seems that there’s just a mess. Therefore, I’m going to write about how interior little stuff could affect our evaluation of ‘neat - not neat’.

So let’s talk about the mess, its components and how to minimize it at home. And I’ve got some pictures from the net, magazines and movie screenshots to illustrate my thoughts. The main enemy of order is clutter. And here we’re faced with the first paradox: the larger space, the easier is to maintain it! Yes, a big house gets dirtier than an apartment. It’s more difficult to get rid of it. But in case of a mess, it’s much easier because mostly it’s not difficult to find a place for all the stuff in a large room. Here, of course, it would be great to add a piece of advice like this: ‘That’s why you have to sell out your one-room apartment and buy a three-story house in the country.’ OK, but now let's look around and evaluate our space, how big it is and what it’s filled with.

The smaller your living place, the stricter you should be with the number of items that are in sight. Let's start with the first eye-catching spot - the hall. What is usually in the hallway: hat and coat hooks and shoes. The smaller the hall, the fewer clothes should be on the hooks. The clothing - all these jackets and coats - hanging on top of the other seems like cluttering up space. So there must be a minimal amount of stuff. And everything else - put in a closed wardrobe. The exact same rule works with shoes. It’s better to put all the shoes in a cupboard. It gets you very disciplined: get changed, clean and put away. Well, if you don’t have time for all of that, do it at least till the evening then, put it in the cupboard so that it doesn’t pile up.

Another trouble of the anteroom is the small racks where all unnecessary stuff is stored -  notes with phone numbers, keys, cards, ads, and many others you don’t even remember and need. I’ve got a large entrance hall but there’s not a single horizontal surface in it, with the exception of the windowsill where I could put on some things. This immediately makes you not to leave a bag in the hallway (and women tend to use more than one bag), but take it to its place and unpack it right away.

I totally understand that in cases of lack of space this seems like "getting juice from a stone," But I think it might be helpful to take into account for those who just started renovating and furnishing the housing.

Here’s an example of a failed anteroom - a lot of open space but there’s nowhere to put things away. As a result, all stuff will be hanged on the hooks and small garbage - on the shelves, and the hallway will end up with an untidy look.

Image by Photographee.eu

A very important element of order in the house is visual cleanliness. I’m into minimalism in everyday life. The most efficient fighter of the mess is an empty horizontal surface :) For instance: there are always lots of bottles, tubes and other unnecessary stuff collecting on the washbasin and on the bathtub. I have only a piece of soap on the basin.

And all other cosmetics I keep in a basket putting it in the cabinet, taking it out only at the moment when I need it.

This rule works not only in the bathroom. Here’s a kitchen for example. Ideally, the working surface in the kitchen should be completely empty. When there is not enough space or it isn’t thought over, lots of household appliances, knives, jars, cups, pots, and others are getting to pile up on the working surface.

Look at this picture. It’s already over packed, and it seems to be in order and neat. And if you suddenly need to take a pan in sight, or get your fruits dried, or put a pile of magazines with recipes on, throwing a potholder or a towel in a hurry on the table ... in sort words - as soon as any other item appears above this order, the general view turns into a mess.

Well, I believe that household appliances should also be hidden, and have to be taken out of the box only when you need it. All these food makers and blenders that are in sight - it seems to an overall feeling of disorder.

In living rooms, empty horizontal surfaces are also important.

Parquet with no carpet, long podiums, a reclining chair, a table where nothing is set, a bedside table or a chest of drawers where things are only inside but not outside. All this makes a feeling of cleanliness and neatness, even in small rooms.

In general, the less free space you have, the less small details should be in the interior. All sorts of figurines, vases and more - all this looks good in large spaces. Here is a good example: a coffee table with a shelf, but the top is still an empty horizontal surface.

An interior with lots of details in a small room works only if you are as hung up on cleanliness, as Sheldon Cooper. And even in this case, there’s too much ‘visual noise’ that seems like a mess.

Image by Spotern.com
And here’s the interior that for most people may seem boring.

Image by Jamie Hooper
But don’t forget that we don’t live in the picture. Any home decor will be surrounded by details of our real life. Here’s a magazine or an unread book. There’s a fruit basket. The sweatshirt was left on a chair. And if you have kids, then the various lego details, baby crayons, kid's bedtime storybooks are everywhere, as well as other pleasant little stuff would become vibrant colorful memories in your life. And if your interior is full of small details, then all these little things will seem like a mess right away. But a laconic and "boring" interior would easily endure such an "overload."