Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jobs To Tick Off Your List Before You Sell Your Home



Are you hoping to sell your home in the near future? If so, it’s natural to want to get the best price. For most of us, our homes are our most valuable asset. When it comes to selling, the higher the price, the better. Before you put a for sale sign up, it’s worth taking a few steps to maximize your chances of getting the offer you want. Here are some essential jobs to tick off your list.

Painting
If you’ve got ripped wallpaper or rooms that are bright orange or deep purple, it’s wise to switch to a neutral color palette before your home goes on the market. Bright and dark shades can make rooms look smaller, and most buyers like to feel that they are inheriting a blank canvas on which they can make their mark. Painting is a relatively simple and inexpensive job, and it could make a huge difference to the saleability of your home.



Curb appeal
Many buyers want a house that looks attractive on the outside. We tend to get carried away with making sure the interior looks pristine when viewings are booked, but the majority of buyers will make up their mind about a house long before they reach the kitchen or master suite. If your home lacks curb appeal, or it looks a little dull or disheveled, it’s worth investing a bit of time and money into sprucing it up for sale. Contact firms like JD Hostetter if you’re considering replacing the siding and refresh the paintwork on your front door and window frames. Add some potted plants or hanging baskets to add color and character, and make sure the driveway is clear of trash. If you have a front lawn, make sure you mow it on a regular basis. You never know who may be driving past.

Cleaning and decluttering
There are few things that are more off-putting to buyers than dirt, dust, and clutter. Before your home goes up for sale, or you take photographs for the brochure, take some time to clean the property thoroughly and declutter. Nobody wants to see images of floors covered in stuff or shelves piled high. Use this opportunity to get rid of anything you don’t want anymore. Removing clutter will make rooms look larger and lighter. If you’ve got people coming to view your home, once you’ve vacuumed, mopped and wiped down surfaces, light some scented candles or use a diffuser to add pleasant aromas.



Tidy up the garden
If you’ve got outdoor space, showcase it in the best possible light. Mow your lawn, tidy up your flower beds, and set the scene. You want buyers to look at the garden and imagine themselves kicking back on a summer’s evening with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.


Are you preparing to put your house on the market? If you want a quick sale, and you’re keen to get the best price, it’s worth making sure your home is in tip-top condition before that sign goes up.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Creating the Perfect Spa in Your Own Home



Creating the perfect spa in your own home isn’t as difficult as you might think. In fact, all it might take is a little bit of DIY and some luxurious touches. If you aren’t one for DIY and you would instead get some professional in for a remodel then check out https://kitchensacramento.com/bathroom-remodeling/. While remodeling might sound like a big job, the truth is not only will it add to the value of your home, but it will also add to your self-care routine.

Photo by Arnold Leung on Unsplash

So, let’s dive right into creating the perfect spa bathroom.

Focus on color

Colour is a very psychological thing. Perhaps not surprisingly, if you decorate in bright pinks and oranges, you’re not likely to be able to relax as much as if say, you paint with blues and greens. In general, the ideal colors will be something earthy and neutral. The visual appeal of your bathroom is a crucial element in creating that spa feeling. You will often find real spas have browns, greens, and light gray - as well as opening up the bathroom, so it looks more substantial. You will also be bringing some of those gorgeous outdoors colors in. Nature is pretty relaxing to look at.

Dimmer Switches

Fluorescent lights can shock the system and aren’t the most flattering. Installing a soft, warm-toned bulb is the first step here. In general we feel safe and relaxed in lower lighting, and of course the warm water. Imagine having a long soak in the tub, with warm, flattering light. While you can DIY this one, it is probably better to get a professional in.

Scent

Part of what makes a spa so wonderful is that they are filled with delicate scents. Here are the most relaxing candle scents.

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Jasmine
  • Sweet Orange
  • Myrrh
  • Geranium
  • Bergamot

Lighting any of these, or purchasing a candle with a combination of these scents will fill the room and help with relaxation.

Declutter

Unsurprisingly clutter doesn’t aid relaxation. As part of your spa creation, ensure you have enough storage for things like toilet paper, multiple bubble bath bottles, and cleaning products. While checking out new storage options, it is also the ideal time to throw out those things that you just aren’t using. For anything that you want to have out for everyday use, like toothbrush, Q-tips and cotton pads, then get some clear plastic or glass containers. They add an effortless touch of class and are neat too.

Sound

Whether it is jungle sounds, ocean waves or the current top 40, music in the background can change the whole feel of a room.

Softly, Softly

Invest in some memory foam bath mats, when stepping out of the bath having something soft and lush is the perfect way to round your spa time off. Try and pick up a shower curtain that matches your aesthetic too.

By bringing in some of these elements, you can create a calm and cozy atmosphere, ideal for putting on a hair mask, face mask and relaxing in a lavender scented home spa of your own creation.

What Could Make Your Living Space Even More Appealing?





If you had to choose one space in your home that you really loved, which would it be? Some people will pick their newly renovated bathrooms that they’re obsessed with. Some people will always want to choose their kitchens because this room is generally the ‘heart’ of the home. But for most of us, the living room will always win. Because your living space is the one area in the home that you get to relax in, unwind in, and really be yourself. So, of course, you want it to look and feel perfect. But sometimes you may look around and feel as if your living room just isn’t living up to your expectations. Whether you’ve worked on your interior decor recently or not, you may not feel that your living space is as comforting as you want it to be. So why not work on that?

If you’re someone that’s all for curb appeal and making your house a home in a really aesthetically pleasing way, then this is going to be a great challenge for you. Because sometimes, you may look at your living space and feel as if it’s looking a little shabby - or at least a little bit boring. And then you have no idea what you can do to make it more exciting. But the good news is, there’s always a lot that you can do. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few points to get you started.


Add In Color Pops

So first of all, we have color. Even if you’re going for a monochromatic or minimal space, color can really bring a space alive. So why not bring in a really fun colored chair or paint one wall a specific color? You don’t have to go too crazy here, but if you start to bring in the odd bit, it’s going to really make the space feel cheerful.

Work In More Exciting Lighting

Another tip is to play around with lighting. Because light can really impact on a room. But don’t just buy a basic lampshade and leave it as that. Because that’s just really boring! Instead, look for fun chandeliers or even specialist lighting that can become a feature in the room. Or something that allows you to really light the space up in an interesting way.

Change Your Furniture Around

Sometimes, you’ll think that you need to buy new furniture to make a space look a lot better. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. It may just be that you need to rearrange the furniture to get more out of the space. Sometimes, being a lot cleverer about where you’re putting things can make the space look so much better.

Bring The Outside In

Another really fun idea is to start to bring the outside in. And you can do this in a range of ways. First of all, you could look at sliding patio door options to blend your garden with the living space. You could even then create a dining space right outside that allows the doors to connect both areas. But not only that, you could use house plants to bring a natural feel into the room too.


Repaint Or Change Your Color Scheme

Next, you’re going to want to think about switching up the main colors in the space. Now, this is a step on from the idea of a color pop. Maybe you could repaint the walls to change the main focal color in the room? Or maybe you just need to change your soft furnishings to replace the color scheme to something more exciting.

Focus On Comfort

When we’re talking about making your living space more appealing, focusing on the practicality of the space is also so important. Because you’ll always want the room to be comforting. If it’s not right now, then maybe investing in new seating or soft furnishings to make the room more comfortable will also make it more appealing.

Add In Decorative Touches

And then the last thing you could do heavily involves staging. Home staging is something that interior designers and realtors do when trying to sell a house. It’s a way of ‘staging’ your furniture and home decor to make your house look more appealing to buyers. But, you can also use this trick to make your living space more appealing to you too! So think about the kinds of decorative touches that you could bring in that makes you home feel more complete.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Why Do Unwanted Guests Pick Your Home?



Receiving guests can be wonderful experience during which you can showcase both your home and your hospitality talent. But there are guests that nobody wants to see in their home. Unwanted guests. And if you're going to get rid of them, you need to understand first what makes your home so appealing to them. Spoiler alert: it’s not your tasteful interior decor!



Who are the unwanted guests?
The first and most important question, maybe, is to think carefully about the type of guests who find their way inside your home without having been invited. If you can’t think of anybody, here’s a clue: Scratches in the walls. By any standard, if you hear scratches sounds inside your walls and roof, it’s likely that you have a pest infestation. Most commonly, mice and other small rodents tend to build a nest by chewing at your plaster and brickwork. In the long term, they affect the structure of your home and can also represent a considerable health risk for your family. You can also find other types of guests, such as insects.


They find a point of entry
Most unwanted guests didn’t specifically get out of their way to find your home. The reason they’ve chosen it is because your property presents a natural entry point. What this means is that your roof might be partially damaged through old age and expose unexpected openings – if you hear scratching sounds in your loft, you might want to get in touch with experts such as J&J Northwoods Construction Inc. to repair your roof. Other common access points can be an old basement, a ventilation pipe or even through under the door – old structures can move and disturb the door alignment.


They are not going to be disturbed
If you have a garage or a garden shed that is left unused, it can be the perfect place for rodents to live. Gradually, they might become more reckless and enter the house. You need to tackle the problem at its source, namely by decluttering the shed and giving it a deep clean. Any space that you don’t use regularly can be targeted.


Free food forever
Do you live in an old house that has a large pantry space? More often than not, the food accumulates on the shelves, and you might find yourself forgetting about the items at the back of the shelves. When this happens, insects and rodents can take your forgetfulness for an act of kindness. After all, who would refuse free food? If you find droppings and crumbs in the pantry, it’s time to call an exterminator.


There is no threat
You don’t have any pet. While it’s not a flaw per se, it also means that unwanted guests have no reason to avoid your home. They feel safe enough to move in with you, eat the slices of toasts that have fallen at the back of the cupboard and build their nest in your fall. Sometimes, adopting a cat or a dog can make a great deal of difference, not only for your family lifestyle but also for your overall health at home! They will keep the pest at bay.


Rodents and insects are intelligent creatures. If they’ve chosen your home, it’s because you’ve made them welcome without knowing it!




What's The Curb Appeal Of The 21st Century?



Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past few years, it’s impossible to have missed the many designers’ ideas about your curb appeal. Should you paint the door? Do you need flowers at the front or would a friendly message on the doormat do? Whatever your worries, you can be sure that someone has already given it some thoughts.
But ultimately, the attractiveness of your property and its surroundings matters, and that’s precisely why you have to look after the street view too. While the term curb appeal has been especially coned for the real estate market, there is no denying that your house appearance also has an impact on your relationship with your neighbors, your feeling of satisfaction and your overall sense of safety. But make the outside of your home too appealing, and you can be sure that you’ll attract a variety of nosy individuals from Instagram influencers looking for their next popular photo to burglars on the loose hunting for their future target. Unfortunately, too many lifestyle and home decor publications have taken over the very meaning of the street view. At the heart of it, your house is a place where you can be yourself. It offers safety, comfort and all the necessary functions to fulfill your lifestyle. Similarly, the outside of your property needs to match your interior – not in terms of decor, but in terms of purpose. In other words, it should be a continuation of your home feeling and provide you with the safety, comfort, and functions you need.


Who needs curb appeal?
First of all, let’s ask the important question that nobody asks, namely who needs a house with curb appeal? If you’re trying to sell the property, it’s fair to say that you’ll be looking at all the possible options to make your home looks irresistible to potential buyers. A flagrant and beautiful maintained garden can welcome your prospects – most homeowners also know the famous trick of the warm coffee smell to make the interior feel more inviting. But when you’re not trying to sell, who needs a pleasant curb appeal? You do. Who wants to get back home to a gloomy looking property? Making the exterior of your house look good affects you positively. You’re more likely to feel at home when you’re back after a long day at work – or a quick trip to the shop!
Additionally, if you love inviting friends and relatives over, you can make sure they are happy to come by welcoming them with a clean driveway and a freshly mown front garden. It’s your way of showing that you want them to feel at home here too. And finally, your neighbors have a lot to say about what your house looks like. Bear in mind that neighbors can only see the outside of your property – keeping it tidy ensures that you care about the neighborhood.


Keep the moisture at bay
A house that looks tidy from the outside is a sturdy house. Indeed, an overgrown garden can dissimulate potentially serious issues, from pest infection to risk of flooding – when the soil can’t absorb the water anymore. Similarly, an old facade that has not been looked after can become a major risk area for the house. Your exterior walls are designed to keep the home dry. Indeed, the main reason homeowners paint their exterior walls is to waterproof them – assuming you are using the appropriate products. Lack of waterproofing care can lead to water infiltration, which can cause mold formation and weaken the structure of your home. In humid areas where the walls are exposed to rainwater and high humidity, water penetration is only a matter of time for the careless homeowners.
Similarly, your roof too acts as a protection. Clearing up your gutters can ensure that the rainwater can escape instead of remaining stagnant and being absorbed by the structure. Old roofs need to be renovated every 20 to 40 years – depending on the type of roof. The TEMA Design-Build service delivers a custom-made roof in record time, keeping your home safe for longer. In short, the first rule of curb appeal is to maintain the safety of the house.


A gate or no gate?
With more and more homeowners worried about their privacy and their security, the idea of a gateless property can be terrifying. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the presence of a gate in a small neighborhood can affect your integration in your local community. If none of your neighbors opted for a gate, the addition of one could send the wrong message – a message of distrust to your community. Similarly, a gate can also affect your view from the surroundings. Do you really want to invite your friends for a cup of coffee and sit down in the lounge to watch over the great big shadow of your gate progressing menacingly towards the house? Nowadays, more often than not, homeowners choose to add a gate that can act both as protection and stylish factor. A customized gate can ensure the protection of your privacy while keeping a friendly and elegant sight to your neighbors.



How a fence can destroy your curb appeal
Very similar to the gate, a fence can equally affect your relationship with your neighbors and the overall appeal of your property. High fences make your home look like a fortified prison – you can be sure that nobody will want to visit even if you invite them. Besides, a high fence is likely to block the sunlight, for you or your neighbors – causing potential issues in the long term. Unless you have young children or a pet, a fence isn’t also a necessary addition. But if you do add a fence, you can opt for elegant neutral colors that will blend in the neighborhood. Soft gray or vibrant blue can make your property appear stylish, giving your fence a friendly touch.


Should I add colors to the front of the house?
Painting your exterior walls or wood home siding is an essential step of home maintenance, as it ensures your property remains waterproof. Nevertheless, waterproofing doesn’t stop you from having fun with the exterior color of your home. A lot of homeowners tend to pick neutral colors that blend into the neighborhood – cream, white, beige and pale gray are favorites. However, you can use a statement color or combination, just like this couple from Pennsylvania who fought their homophobic neighbors with a rainbow facade. In most cases, it’s best to check with your direct neighbors, as they will be the people seeing your exterior wall from their living room windows every day.


A front garden that is welcoming
What is a welcoming front garden? Indeed, a lot of properties tend to have a driveway at the front, which leaves little room for gardening. However, you can create a sense of harmony with the combination of high-quality pavement and geometric bushes and shrubs. The green patches will counterbalance the urban gray and dark colors of the drive. Old-fashioned properties can add flowers – pick plants that are easy to maintain such as lavender, heather, and crocus – along the path.


Keep your car clean
It might sound like a silly thing to say, as your car is not entirely part of your curb appeal. However, as most people tend to park the car in front of their house, it ultimately belongs to the street view of your property. You can be sure that a dirty vehicle will affect the overall appearance of your home and make it look messy. You should keep your car clean - especially if it’s an old vehicle that needs to be polished and waxed. You can wash your car by hand – you’ll get better results than through an automatic system. The purpose of the exercise is not only to complement the curb appeal of your home, but it’s also a way to protect your vehicle from the weather.


You need a bin box
What do you do with your trash cans? While this might seem unrelated, you need to consider that most people keep their bins outside so that they can take them into the street on collection days. As a result, your curb appeal might be affected by the presence of a bin in your garden or against the side wall of your house. Needless to say, while bins are a necessity, they are not the most elegant display of home ownership. But you can build a wooden container in which to keep your bins. All you need to do is to roll them out on collection days.


Think of your security
Finally, we live in the 21st century. It’s the age of electronic, digital and smart control. You can add a modern layer of protection to your exterior walls with the installation of a CCTV system. The presence of cameras can discourage burglars. More importantly, while they might affect the overall aesthetic of your property, they also keep your safe, which is the core function of your home.


In conclusion, curb appeal goes beyond the laws of decor and style. You need to consider your integration into the local community, your protection and your privacy. Next time you think of improving your curb appeal, remember what your home is about in the first place!







Natural Haven: 4 Ways To Bring The Outdoors In




It doesn’t matter whether you live in the wilds of Wisconsin or the 22nd floor of a sky-tickling apartment block, there is something super-special about nature. It’s a tonic for tired eyes. It’s that seemingly endless fountain of rejuvenation; a place of peace and piece of quiet where you can run off to when you need to escape the humdrum of everyday life when the madness gets a little too overwhelming. That’s what we love about it. We love the way a simple stroll through a park can recharge our batteries, an afternoon on the beach can fill our lungs with fresh air and a weekend camping can make our imagination spark like a cattle prod gone haywire. To put it simply: a quick pit stop in Mother Nature can give us the energy we need to jump back into our normal lives.

With that in mind, why the heck wouldn't you try and emulate some of that magic in your own humble abode? Why wouldn’t you want to fill your home with nature and lap up all those rejuvenating qualities?

That’s where we come in because we’ve pulled together a list of amazing ways you can try to bring the great outdoors indoors, waking up to the power and beauty of nature every single day. Enjoy.

1. Hang With The Places You Love
Nothing is going to make your home feel more at home with nature than decorating it with images, paintings, and photographs of your favorite spots. You might feel most at peace hiking through a forest of huge redwood trees, or camping on a beach with morning views over a horizon-touching ocean, or having a picnic on the tractor tracks of a harvested wheat field. Whatever your dream spot, you should hang images of those beautiful places in your home. Trust us: they are so powerful that hanging them at different points around your home will make you feel more relaxed and peaceful than you ever deemed possible. Of course, the bigger the picture the more relaxed you will feel. From triptychs to gallery walls, framed photographs to statues - you can use anything you like.

2. Welcome To The Jungle
There is only one that can make a room feel more rejuvenating and peaceful than having a houseplant you absolutely love in the corner and that’s having hundreds of houseplants. We’re talking about welcoming a jungle. Just think about it for a second. There are a thousand amazing reasons to have a plant in your home but, if you really want to harness that calming power of the great outdoors, you should fill your space with them. Go and buy all the different types of leafy plants you can; wild plants with different leaves, stems, heights, names, and shades. Mix in succulents and cacti, bring in a variety of houseplants, and then spread these out all over your home. That said, the trick is to keep this plant power to one nature-loving corner of each room. This way you will have somewhere relaxing you can slip off to when you need to immerse yourself in Mother Nature.

3. Open Your Home Up To The Outdoors
What cooler way is there to connect to the outside world than to have floor-to-ceiling windows that completely open up to bring the outdoors in; no barriers whatsoever between you and those relaxing superpowers. It doesn’t matter if you boast a wildly landscaped private courtyard, a narrow balcony that is full of potted plants and herbs, or a garden that doesn’t end, you need to speak to some French hinged and sliding glass door installers and make your home more connected to the outside world. Of course, that’s not possible for everyone, in which case you just need to think a little more creatively. Fill your window sills - inside and out - with plants to give you a better connection to nature and use window films to highlight the view you have of the sky. It’s about using what you have in the way of a view in the best way possible, that’s all.

4. Embracing A Different Nature
When people think about making their homes more nature-friendly, they tend to think of big glass walls, hundreds of houseplants and views over a manicured garden. But that doesn’t have to be the case by any means. In fact, one of the coolest ways you can embrace nature in your home is to mimic the moodiness of a storm. Instead of going with bright, vibrant and sunshine-loving shades, choose moody and subtle colors. Capture the atmosphere we all love when waiting for a storm to roll in; that feeling of getting all cozy and relaxed as thunder rings out. All you need to do is use a dramatic palette of grays and light blues and you will have a whole new connection with nature.

Monday, September 17, 2018

3 Essential Nursery Ideas For Your Little One






Even though your nesting instinct has emerged and you are busying yourself with purchasing more muslin than you can shake a stick at, organizing the diapers Jenga style and cleaning the oven in the middle of the night, you still haven’t finalized nursery plans. The anxiety levels you have been feeling are now slowly hitting breaking point, and you need to whip out the paint, source appropriate furniture and get the baby friendly room ready for your imminent arrival. The unconditional love you feel for your firstborn is indescribable but so is your innate need to nurture and comfort them. The nursery that you create needs to be the part of the home that your little one feels most peaceful, comfortable and loved. Take a look at these awesome nursery ideas for your cherub.

The Cot

Your baby will be sleeping a lot for the first few months. You should be investing some of your hard earned cash in the best crib you can buy. Try to take a look at the many non toxic baby cribs available. These frames and mattresses don’t contain any of the glues or chemicals that other cribs can contain. Less toxic substances mean that your baby can sleep in a wholly natural environment. Alongside this health conscious way to put your baby to bed, you should also be checking out non-toxic rugs, low toxicity paints, and hypoallergenic teddy bears and mattresses. It’s vital that you can create the most conducive environment to sleep and rest for your little one.

Interior Design

Just because your baby won’t know his Galliano wallpaper from his Vuitton mural, doesn’t mean you can’t inject a little bit of flair into the environment. A bold design will be too busy, distracting and preventing sound sleep. Instead, keep the walls a neutral palette such as cream shades or magnolia tones, and utilize artwork or wall stencils to inject a bit of color. You might want to use some of your own artistic talent to write your little one’s name on their wall. You could create a black and white picture gallery, full of the most important people in your baby’s life such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

Fabrics can play an important role in obtaining that Hygge ethos. The Danish cozy feeling that a tactile fabric can bring means that your baby will always feel snug, warm and loved in their little nursery space.

Organization

It’s worthwhile spending some time to consider where your little darling’s clothes will be kept, where you’ll store the diapers and where their toy box will be situated. By looking into this now, you can configure a room layout ideal for your baby’s needs and wants. Baby changing units now allow you to see to your baby’s needs while having drawer units underneath for all of the much needed essentials. This makes it easier for you, as a new mom, to remain calm and unflustered when stressful situations arise.

Welcoming a new little one into your life can be daunting, but it is also the most special and love inducing experience. Use these ideas to inspire your nursery plans and enjoy becoming a new mommy.