Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tips To Help Make Your Home More Appealing

~ This is a featured post. ~

Whether it’s for your own good or because you’re trying to sell your house, there will come a time when you feel like your home is in need of a makeover. It could be that it appears drab or you’re simply sick of the same old look and feel.

The following tips will allow you to make your home more appealing and a better place to live and spend your time overall. Instead of stressing over the updates, take it one project at a time and have fun recreating and fixing what needs some attention in your space. This is your chance to get creative and allow for your visions and wishes of what you always wanted your home to look like to finally come to life.

Keep it Clean & Declutter
A messy home is typically going to make your property less appealing no matter what. Therefore, spend time cleaning and decluttering on a regular basis. Come up with a schedule that helps you stay on track and not get too overwhelmed with the task. Also, stay organized and make sure all of your belongings are stored away and labeled correctly so you can always easily find what you’re looking for. Picking up as you go or in the evenings before you head to bed will allow you to stay on top of this responsibility and it’ll be less likely that you’ll have it all pile up into one large undertaking.

Focus on Curb Appeal
People and passersby care about what the outside of your home looks like and you should too. You want onlookers talking positively about your property and not complaining that it’s bringing down the ambiance of the neighborhood. It’s worth the investment to keep up with your landscaping and spend the time cleaning up a bit on the outside. Some ideas you may want to consider that boost curb appeal are power washing the driveway and siding, replacing old garage doors and making your porch appear attractive by adding plants and a sitting bench. In addition, replace a worn down mailbox and think about painting your front door a bold hue that catches your attention.

Spruce up the Backyard
You don’t want to forget about the backyard when you’re working on coming up with ideas for how to make your home more appealing. Pay attention to the details and work to create an oasis where you actually want to spend time. You’ll want to offer plenty of seating and privacy if you like relaxing in your backyard or are someone who entertains often. You can read more online about what signs to look for when deciding if it’s time to replace your deck and install a new one. Not only should you contemplate replacing your deck, but also planting some colorful vegetation and maybe even adding a pergola that will spruce up your space even further.

Consider New Paint
Consider a new paint job when brainstorming ways for how to make your home more appealing. Paint has the ability to instantly transform a room by making small areas look bigger and dull spaces look brighter. It can be a fun DIY project that you complete with the entire family, or hire someone to help you out and guarantee it gets done quickly and looks professional. Remember to touch up the trim and any doors while you’re tackling this project. It’s a wise idea to see if both the interior and exterior need to be refreshed when you’re determining what to paint.

Remodel the Kitchen & Bathrooms
The most used rooms in your home are the kitchen and bathrooms, and buyers always look at these spaces when shopping for a new home. Invest in these areas, and your home will not only look better in the present for you to enjoy, but you’ll likely be able to sell it a lot faster when the time comes. Be proactive and do your homework so you can figure out what features you like and feel you can’t live without when it comes to the design aspect. A few ideas to help you get the ball rolling include painting or refinishing cabinets, replacing floors and installing a unique backsplash.

Take the Time to Decorate
A happy and attractive house is one that’s decorated and looks like someone lives in it. Avoid leaving walls blank and not spending the time to add your personal touch to your space. Make your home more appealing by hanging colorful artwork, putting down rugs on cold floors and placing plants throughout your home to make it more lively and inviting. Display a few family photos here and there, and purchase decorative pieces that speak to you and your home’s style. This is your chance to add a little bit of extra character to your home and showcase your taste as well.

Rework Your Lighting & Fixtures
You’ll be able to instantly make your home more appealing when you explore the idea of updating your lighting and fixtures. A dark and dreary home will cause you to feel tired, and you won’t have any desire to be in your space. Shop for beautiful fixtures that light up your rooms and give yourself options for setting the mood such as putting your lights on a dimmer switch. Add lamps, install recessed lighting and replace or wash old windows to draw in plenty of natural light to your entire house. The point is you can never have too many lighting choices for daytime or in the evening, so make sure you have a wide variety of solutions incorporated throughout your space.

There’s no reason to settle for mediocre when there are so many ideas for how you can make your home more appealing. Use these tips to get you started in the right direction and excited about all the new possibilities that exist for updating your space. Most importantly, be sure to sit back and enjoy these upgrades and take the time to admire all your hard work once you get your house to a better place.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tips and Tricks For New Homeowners

~ This is a featured post. ~

Moving houses can be one of the most stressful life events, but with effective planning, you can ensure this can be as smooth and stress-free as possible. You can also ensure you are prepared for any unexpected occurrences and reduce the stress of moving to a new house.

Plan well ahead of moving day
It is best to plan ahead and make sure your schedule is free on moving day. This can help reduce the stress of what will already be a very stressful life event. Consider moving on a Friday to allow you to have the weekend to settle down in your new home and organize your things and thoughts.

Don’t leave packing on the last day or the night before to prevent stress and prevent you from forgetting anything important. It is probably best to make a list of everything you need to move, anything you will take with you and anything you will need to do once you arrive at your new house.

Ensure that you have all the information you need if, say, your children are moving to a new school, such as their start dates and times, any meeting you may have with a teacher and similarly if you are also moving to a new job.

By keeping all these in mind, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and stress once you arrive in your new home.

Keep key contacts at hand
Key contacts when moving home can be along the lines of your internet service providers to help you set up your new house’s WIFI, local technicians to help you in setting up your TV or help with water damage cleanup in case you need help in checking your kitchen and ensuring it is functional for your first week.

It might also be a good idea to have the contact details of the moving company if you are using one, in case boxes are lost in transit and require frequent communication to arrive on time.

Likewise, any emergency numbers might be useful to note down. Particularly when you are moving to a new neighborhood or a new city, you may not have the same connections as you had in your past home. Therefore, it is best to have these contact details on hand in your first few weeks.

Label boxes clearly
As part of your planning and for ease of unpacking, you can label boxes well ahead of moving day. This will ensure you have everything you need, and you will not forget anything. You can also set aside a box of unused items or items you will not take over to your new house and can send to donation or set up for sale. This will lessen clutter in your new home and give you space to redecorate!

Likewise, write a list of everything you intend to bring to your new home and everything you do not need and can be thrown away or donated. This way you can easily tick off important items and ensure that they have arrived safely in the new house. And if they are delayed or lost, then you know exactly what is missing.

Pack a small bag of essentials
Things can get lost in transit or delayed, and unexpected inconveniences can occur. It might be best to prepare a small bag to store essentials such as medicine, painkillers, a spare change of clothes, toothpaste and toothbrush, chargers and anything else that you may need in your day to day.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself
With the stress of moving to a new house, all the preparations and management it requires, it is easy to forget your own well-being. Ensure you get enough sleep on the night before moving day, so you have the energy to handle the day. Fatigue can affect your focus and concentration increasing the likelihood of forgetting things and getting enough rest will ensure you have enough energy to tackle the rest of the day.

Likewise, keep vitamins and any essential medication at hand on moving day and in the first few days. Stress can affect the immune system and the stress of new environments, and can also affect life events such as moving to a new school or home or job, can reduce your resistance to something like the common cold.

As stressful and hectic as moving to a new house, with planning and organization, you can ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible. And once the move is complete and all your belongings safely arrive at your new home, it will be time to celebrate this new chapter of your life!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

DIY Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen

~ This is a featured post. ~

One of the most visited rooms in your home is likely your kitchen. Seeing as eating every day is essential, you’re likely to visit that space several times in a day; it’s also perfect for socializing with family and friends. For this reason, it’s easy for it to become worn without the proper maintenance and care, and key essentials may need to be replaced more often than other parts of your home.

In light of this, you may be toying with the idea of remodeling your kitchen sometime soon. Kitchen remodels can be relatively expensive depending on the work that you want to get done. Therefore, if you’re decent at DIY, you may want to think about doing some of the remodeling yourself. On that note, you’re going to find a few DIY tips for remodeling your kitchen below.

Create a Budget
One of the primary purposes of any DIY project should be to save money. For this reason, one of the first tips that you should consider is creating a budget before beginning any remodeling. Think about what exactly it is that you want to achieve and the key items you’re going to need. You can then see what you can afford to do and how you can cut down remodeling expenses so that it fits in your budget. Key things to consider when creating a budget for remodeling include what your goals are, what financial options you have, the resale value after your proposed renovations, and how much money you can set aside for unforeseen contingencies. Once you’ve done this, you’re in a good position to move on to starting your DIY job.

Use Bright White Cabinets
When it comes to kitchen remodeling, one of the priciest expenses is replacing the cabinets. For this reason, it may be a good idea to opt for bright white ones if yours still happen to be in decent condition. You can do this by simply adding a new coat of quality paint to your cabinets so that they look brand new. You should wash and prim the cabinets beforehand and consider adding gloss for extra shine. Also, if you want to enhance the bright white effect, try adding nice new hardware as well.

Replace Your Countertops
When remodeling your kitchen, you may want to think about changes you can make to add value as well as making it look nice. If it’s within your budget and you have the know-how, you should, therefore, think about replacing your countertops as this could increase the value of your home. In case you’re presently unsure about the value of your home and are curious to see how much has your house increased in value, try searching online for helpful tools and websites such as SunLife who can help with equity release. Some tips for a DIY kitchen countertop include creating a template, choosing countertop material, and taking accurate countertop measurements.

A kitchen remodel is something that can be relatively expensive as well as time-consuming depending on what exactly you’re changing. However, careful planning and focusing on key aspects of the kitchen that matter most should help make it far easier and less expensive. The end goal should be to create a kitchen space that you enjoy being in and has a warm feel.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Current Obsession: H&M Home

I am not sure when and how it all started, but before I knew it, I already placed over a dozen online orders with H&M Home within a short four-month period. The in-store and online customer service wasn't the greatest or the most organized, but its modern and warm minimalism home collection with a touch of Scandinavian style (they are Swedish after all) kept me wanting to go back for more. It's quickly becoming a routine for me to check their online offerings almost on a weekly basis, and I rarely left empty-handed. 

Here are a few tips on shopping with the H&M Home online. 

1. If you spot something you like, buy it right away. They do go out of stock very quickly online. But if you miss it, don't panic. Just wait for a few weeks and chances they will come back in stock. This whimsical hand vase in the picture below constantly went out of stock within hours, but it does become available again from time to time. 

2. If modern and minimalism is your style, you've come to the right place. H&M Home collection often takes a classic decor staple such as vase with handles or milk jug, and give it a more modern interpretation and spin. 

I was so in love with this stoneware vase with handles that I had to have one each at home and cottage. Less prominent handles and half-dipped finish gives it a more modern life. Picture below: H&M half-dipped stoneware vase with handles at home. The textured stripped rug is also from H&M. 

The same vase at cottage

3. Check the "Sale" section diligently. It often "pleasantly" surprises you. I found the rattan tray (which I used as a wall decoration) and the Moroccan pom-pom pillow at 50% off, which I would've gladly paid full price for. 

The stripped stoneware vase and the square Moroccan pom-pom pillow were also scored at 50% off. 

The bamboo woven basket (on wall shelf) and the basket on floor are also from H&M Home. 

And the black candleholder in the picture below.  

So have you ever shopped at the H&M Home? What was your experience?

How to Prepare Your Home For a Move

~ This is a featured post. ~

Getting your home ready for a move is always a hectic time. There is a lot of organizing, planning, de-cluttering and logistics that goes into it. All of your belongings are packed up in boxes, so looking for something last minute is never a good idea! This is a time where you have to start using only your belongings that are out of the boxes. In order to reduce any stress and anxiety that may bubble up close to moving day, here are three tips to keep in mind when moving homes. Breathe in, breathe out, and remember that once you step foot in your new home, you can relax.

Organizational tips
Do not wait until move day to pack up your belonging and boxes! This is a sure fire way to become stressed. Instead, the best course of action is to organize everything and prepare what is needed ahead of time. The best way to approach this is to have a plan in mind. Take each room one by one and start packing everything in a box. Hopping from one room to the next while not finishing the previous one can make it seem like there is still a lot to do, so remember to take it step by step.

De-clutter the home
Not everything in your home is needed! In fact, chances are, there is a lot of clutter. As you are organizing and packing up your home for move day, keep in mind what you should give away, sell, recycle and trash. De-cluttering your home will also make the move experience easier. You do not need to take everything with you. There are probably some items that have been sitting in storage for years on end. Do yourself a favor and give those away. Getting into the habit of de-cluttering will come in very useful at the new house as well. It’s something that should be done year round and is thus a good habit to start getting into.

Logistical Planning
The last agenda item is to sort all of the necessary logistics and planning for move day. The closer you get to the move, the more hectic your life will momentarily become. It’s inevitable. You get the new house keys and all of a sudden – it’s go time. Once everything is packed up, it’s time to hire a moving company, such as Suddath moving company. You want to ensure you hire professionals to make the move a breeze for you, and your children. Your belongings all must safely arrive to your new home so you can start unpacking and putting everything together!

As hectic as moving may be, you can let out a sigh of relief when everything is packed up and ready to move into your brand new home. You can let out an even bigger sigh of relief when all of your belongings safely arrive at the new place, and you begin unboxing everything! Moving is a process, and it’s one that requires you to be organized and keep on top of your clutter and planning. Still, it’s also a great new chapter in your life that you can are starting! So don’t forget to celebrate once the move is complete.
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